Putin invites Trump to Moscow

The Russian president also says he is "ready to go to Washington"

Putin invites Trump to Moscow

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, 26-07-2018. Image: Xinhua/Xie Huanchi

The Russian president has invited his US counterpart to Moscow for another face-to-face meeting.

Speaking in South Africa, Vladimir Putin said he an extended the invitation to Donald Trump – but warned that conditions "need to be right" for the visit to take place.

He also said he is "ready to go to Washington" after being invited by President Trump – although the White House this week delayed that invite until the New Year.

President Putin is in Johannesburg for the tenth summit of BRICS nations.

BRICS is made up of five of the world’s major developing economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

His comments come amid the ongoing storm in the US over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election.

This afternoon, President Trump took to Twitter to deny he had any knowledge of a meeting between his son and a Russian lawyer in the run-up to the election.

File photo of Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya during an interview with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia

The meeting between Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr was also attended by President Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor Jared Kushner, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Soviet counter-intelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin.

Mr Akhmetshin has said Ms Veselnitskaya used the meeting to present the men with information she believed could help the Trump campaign win the election.

She had details of what she believed were illicit funds that had been funnelled to the Democratic National Committee – although she had could not provide evidence to back up her claims.

She has denied acting on behalf of the Russian government – however the Associated Press yesterday reported that it had seen documents proving her ties to senior Russian Government officials.

This afternoon, President Trump again denied that he had any knowledge of the meeting before it happened.

In the final entry of a three-tweet series, the president said: I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr.

"Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary's lawyer.

"Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice"

His outburst came ahead of giving a planned White House statement on the US economy, which has surged to its fastest growth rate since 2014.

In the April to June quarter, it went up by 4.1% - and Mr Trump said he expected it to climb further.

Mr Trump has been keen to highlight economic growth ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.