“An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. 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, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin’s regime.” –U.S. Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
Americans learned of a phone call Tuesday between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump who congratulated him on his “winning” campaign. However, they learned of it only after it was announced by the Russians and word made its way back to the U.S. Reporters at a White House press conference questioned the president about congratulating Putin, and Trump confirmed that, indeed, he had called Putin.
Trump had been warned by national security advisers with an all-caps precaution about Putin: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.”
Trump also ignored additional advice, as noted by the Washington Post:
Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn Putin about the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow.
Trump told reporters, “We’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future.”
POTUS better be careful about getting too close to Putin lest he be on the receiving end of the Russian-owned poisoning agent used on a former KGB spy and his daughter in Britain.