(NEWSER) – A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says Russian President Vladimir Putin should not expect an invitation to address Congress if he visits Washington in the fall. Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong says "the only one talking about inviting Putin to address Congress is Nancy Pelosi," a jab at the Democratic leader, who called on Ryan Friday to make it clear he will not issue an invitation "for a thug like Putin to address the United States Congress." Meanwhile, David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said flatly, "There is no invitation from Congress" for Putin to speak to lawmakers. President Donald Trump has asked his national security adviser to invite Putin to Washington to follow up on a summit in Helsinki this week.
President Donald Trump has asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington this fall – an invitation Pelosi calls "beyond belief." Pelosi labels Putin a tyrant and a thug and says Trump's "frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment and a grave threat to our democracy." Heads of state at times address Congress when visiting the city. Pelosi says invitations to address a joint meeting of Congress should be bipartisan. She says Putin's "ongoing attacks on our elections and Western democracies" deserve unanimous condemnation from the international community, "not a VIP ticket to our nation's capital."