President Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday to congratulate him on his re-election and the leaders discussed arranging a possible bilateral meeting, the Kremlin and Trump said.
According to The Washington Post, Trump's advisers included a warning in his briefing materials, in all caps, which said, "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" Putin on his victory in the Russian election last week.
President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 7, 2017.
US Senator John McCain criticised Mr Trump over the call.
"An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections", Sen.
The White House National Security Council declined to comment on the report.
"I congratulated him on the victory, the electoral victory", Trump told reporters at the White House while meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Mr. Trump noted that his administration was spending $700 billion to upgrade the American military, and said he would never allow Russian Federation, or any other country, to approach its military might.
On Sunday, Putin secured a landslide victory in a presidential election that saw him return to the Kremlin for a fourth term with a record vote share.Western leaders were slow to congratulate Putin as monitors reported ballot stuffing and other alleged cases of fraud, though fewer irregularities were reported than in previous years. Mixed in, according to the White House, was Trump's congratulations.
The flap comes as Donald Trump continues to fight off allegations that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election.
In addition, the US joined Britain, France and Germany in questioning Russia's alleged role in poisoning a former Russian spy with a military-grade nerve toxin in England.
The two leaders talked over the phone on Tuesday and discussed U.S. -Russia relations and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
Crises in Syria and Ukraine were also discussed.
Putin of Russian Federation was re-elected this week. "I'm always reminded of the election they used to have in nearly every communist country where whoever the dictator was at the moment always got huge percentage of the vote".
The British government has blamed Moscow for the attack with a military-grade nerve agent.
French President Emmanuel Macron wished Mr Putin success in "modernising Russia", but urged Moscow to shed light on the "unacceptable" attempted assassination of an ex-spy in Britain.
To be fair, congratulatory calls aren't entirely out of the ordinary.
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