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Donald Trump reportedly defied warning from security team when he called Russian president Putin

Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated Vladimir Putin, and added that the two leaders "will probably get together in the not-too-distant future" to discuss the international arms race.

Published: 22nd March 2018 01:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2018 01:01 AM   |  A+A-

AP file image of US president Donald Trump on the phone.

By ANI

WASHINGTON D.C.: United States President Donald Trump reportedly defied a specific warning from his national security team, when he called Russian President Vladimir Putin, to congratulate him on his landslide victory in Sunday’s elections.

Trump’s national security advisers had presented him with written briefing materials in capitals saying "DO NOT CONGRATULATE," The Washington Post said citing officials.

And it is not clear if President Trump, who prefers to hear briefings, read the notes, according to sources.

Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated Vladimir Putin, and added that the two leaders "will probably get together in the not-too-distant future" to discuss the international arms race.

"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory," The Guardian quoted President Trump as saying.

Local media also reported that Trump and Putin will also talk about North Korea, Ukraine and Syria, among "various other things".

However, in his conversation with Putin, Trump did not raise Russia's election interference or its suspected involvement in the poisoning of a former spy on British soil, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The former US presidential candidate John McCain was quick to criticise Trump for his failure to raise allegations of widespread voter irregularities.

"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," The Guardian quoted McCain as saying.

The United States President has consistently refused to criticise Putin, or acknowledge that Moscow might have played any part in putting him in the White House.

However, any meeting between the two leaders would be controversial, given the ongoing investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections.

The phone call also came just days after the United States imposed sanctions against 19 Russian nationals and five entities over Russian interference in the US elections.



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