Trump congratulates Putin on winning reelection, gets slammed by McCain

21 March, 2018, 08:18 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • Trump congratulates Putin on winning reelection, gets slammed by McCain

US President Donald Trump has congratulated his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on his win in the presidential election in a telephone call on Tuesday, the Kremlin press service reported. "We'll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control".

The White House said in a readout of the call that the two leaders "discussed the state of bilateral relations and resolved to continue dialogue about mutual national security priorities and challenges". Trump didn't bring up the sanctions or Russia's election interference in the call, nor did he raise a nerve-gas attack on a former Russia spy in Salisbury, England, that the United Kingdom has blamed on the Russian government, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. They also confirmed the need for cooperation on strategic stability. "As you know, he made a statement that being in an arms race is not a great thing, and it was right after the election, one of the first statements he made, and we are spending $700 billion there are this year, our military, and a lot of it is that we are going to remain stronger than any other nation in the world by far", he said.

The outrage was quickly overshadowed on social media when users pointed out the blatant hypocrisy; noting former President Barack Obama called Putin following his election in 2012.

Trump offered highlights from what he called a "very good call" with Putin.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters today, "We don't get to dictate how other countries operate".

A number of Republicans criticized Trump for making the call, including Senator Mitch McConnell, who said that there was a "lack of credibility" in the election result.

Moscow and Washington are also at odds over crises in Ukraine and Syria, which Trump said would be discussed in a meeting along with the denuclearization of North Korea.

"I had a call with President Putin, and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory", Trump said, ignoring concerns about the vote being rigged in the Russian strongman's favor. She said a summary of the call would be released later.

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Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that the two leaders didn't discuss the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.

On March 15, Washington imposed sanctions on Russian entities and individuals over what US intelligence agencies say was Moscow's meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election that put Trump in the White House.

"It's blatantly obvious that he has just an inexplicable level of support for President Putin", said Julie Smith, a European security expert who served as deputy national security adviser for former vice president Joe Biden. London has blamed Moscow for the attack, a charge Russian Federation denies.

What they didn't discuss today was noteworthy as well: Trump did not raise Russia's meddling in the USA elections or its suspected involvement in the recent poisoning of a former spy in Britain.

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