US President Donald Trump (Photo: Bloomberg)

National Security Adviser John Bolton, in a statement, cited special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as the reason for the delay.

Mr. Bolton said the President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, a reference to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“We’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year,” he added.

Earlier, Donald Trump had invited Vladimir Putin to Washington for a summit in the autumn.

Mr Trump instructed John Bolton to make the invitation just days after the two leaders met in Helsinki, where they spent two hours alone with just interpreters.

The US President has faced widespread criticism after declining to publicly condemn Mr Putin over Russian interference in the 2016 US election when they appeared at a press conference in Helsinki.

President Donald Trump said he was "looking forward" to the second meeting and they would discuss issues including nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, Israel, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)./.

Compiled by BTA