President Donald Trump said Friday that he's considering accepting Vladimir Putin’s invitation to attend Russia’s military parade celebration in May, but that the 2020 campaign season might get in the way.
“President Putin invited me,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn. “It’s a very big deal, celebrating the end of the war, etc., etc. A very big deal. I appreciate the invitation.”
Trump said his only hesitation in attending is that the parade falls during a pivotal time in the election cycle.
“It is in the middle of our political season, so I will see if I can do it, but I would love to go if I could,” he concluded.
Putin earlier this year invited Trump to attend Russia’s Victory Day festivities, which commemorate the Soviet Union's triumph in World War II and are a celebration of Russian military might.
Trump’s presidency has long been criticized for his friendly affiliation with Putin, a stark contrast from previous administrations that included tense U.S.-Russia relations. Trump consistently denies allegations from the report written by former special counsel Robert Mueller, who concluded that Moscow mounted an aggressive effort to disrupt the 2016 presidential election and assist Trump.