Trump congratulates Putin on winning reelection, gets slammed by McCain

Simon Moss
March 21, 2018

Before the election even began, the impartiality of the results was compromised. "I wouldn't read much into it", Corker said.

Mueller has reportedly sent questions to the White House for a potential interview with Trump, though Mueller and investigators remain tight-lipped and there is no official date on when Trump might sit with investigators for an interview.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent Trump critic, called the president's call "odd".

The coordinated approach followed the Salisbury nerve agent attack earlier this month that has left a former Russian double agent and his daughter in comas and has plunged relations between London and Moscow to their worst in a generation.

Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said it's "almost beyond comprehension" why a state actor would deploy such a risky substance in a public place in a foreign country where others could be exposed.

"The president can call whomever he chooses", McConnell said at his weekly news conference Tuesday.

McCain has previously called Putin a murderer and a thug.

Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said that he congratulated Putin - a figure who has loomed over his administration because of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election - on winning another term.

He also said they "will probably get together in the not-too-distant future" to talk about the global arms race and other mutual concerns, such as the war in Syria and North Korea's development of nuclear weapons.

European Union again calls on Russian Federation to return Crimea to Ukraine - Mogherini
The EU also condemned the militarization of the peninsula that continues to impact the security situation in the Black Sea region.

The White House said Trump limited conversation to "shared topics" on which the U.S. and Russian Federation could find common ground, like Ukraine, Syria, and North Korea.

The Post, citing an unspecified number of officials familiar with the call, said Trump likewise did not listen to aides who gave him talking points to condemn a nerve agent poisoning in the United Kingdom, which the USA has blamed on Russian Federation.

"We're not surprised by the outcome", he said, when asked about the fairness of the election, public broadcaster Voice of America reported.

Shortly after the absolutely unsurprising re-election of Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump was given explicit instructions in his daily briefing materials to avoid congratulating his counterpart. They also confirmed the need for cooperation on strategic stability.

"Satisfaction has been expressed with a certain decrease in tensions around the Korean peninsula", the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin said the two leaders also discussed the Ukrainian crisis and the 7-year Syrian war and talked about a possible bilateral meeting.

Ahead of Tuesday's phone call, national security aides provided Trump with several handwritten notecards filled with talking points to guide his conversation, as is customary for calls with foreign leaders, according to the officials with knowledge of the call, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Asked whether the Trump administration believes Russian Federation conducted a "free and fair" election, Sanders said the administration is focused on US elections.

Republican U.S. Senator John McCain chastised Trump for the congratulatory call.

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