(CNN)The White House said on Wednesday it is entertaining a proposal raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin to interrogate Americans in exchange for assistance in the ongoing US investigation into election interference, putting the White House at odds with the State Department.
Putin raised the idea in his summit talks with President Donald Trump on Monday, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Sanders indicated on Wednesday no final decision had been made but that the proposal was under consideration.
“The President’s going to meet with his team and we’ll let you know when we have an announcement on that,” she said.
However, at the State Department on Wednesday, spokeswoman Heather Nauert offered a more forceful denunciation of the Russian allegations than her White House counterpart.
“The overall assertions that have come out of the Russian government are absolutely absurd,” Nauert said. “The fact that they want to question 11 American citizens and the assertions American citizens — we do not stand by those assertions that the Russian government makes. The prosecutor general in Russia is well aware that the United States has rejected Russian allegations in this regard.”