WaPo: Trump ignored briefing materials that said not to congratulate Putin

WaPo: Trump ignored briefing materials that said not to congratulate Putin

At the State Department, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it was "no surprise" that Putin was re-elected, commenting that some people were paid to turn out to vote and opposition leaders were intimidated or jailed. She says opposition leaders were intimidated or jailed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there was a "lack of credibility in tallying the result".

"I'm not aware that that came up specifically", she said.

Her comments were notably tougher on Russian Federation than those coming from the White House.

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

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.

Ties between Russian Federation and the United States have been severely strained by disagreements over issues including Russia's aggression in Ukraine, its role in the war in Syria, and its alleged interference in Western politics and elections.

"We will never allow anybody to have anything even close to what we have", Trump said.

"Donald Trump congratulated Vladimir Putin on his winning the presidential elections", the Kremlin said. "And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future".

McCain has previously called Putin a murderer and a thug.

"President Trump congratulated President Putin on his March 18 re-election, and emphasized the importance of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula", the statement continued.




"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory", Trump told reporters at the White House before his meeting with visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory", Trump said on Tuesday.

"The two leaders spoke out in favor of developing practical cooperation in various areas, including in ensuring strategic stability and combating global terrorism".

In addition, Trump and Putin expressed satisfaction with the apparent easing of tensions over North Korea's weapons program, according to the Kremlin.

Apart from that, according to the Kremlin press service, the two leaders discussed further contacts between the two countries and topical global issues.

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

"In general, the conversation was constructive and businesslike and focused on overcoming the problems that have accumulated in Russian-US relations".

Trump's applause of Putin's victory was in line with other congratulatory calls he has made, including to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a much-disputed referendum that increased his already autocratic powers and to China's President Xi Jinping for his "extraordinary elevation" after Xi last month engineered the Communist Party's elimination of presidential term limits.

"Did poisoning in the United Kingdom come up in the call?" a reporter asked.

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