President Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated Vladimir Putin on his re-election, a week after the United States took a harder stance toward Russian Federation, and said they would likely meet soon to discuss the arms race and crises in Ukraine, Syria and North Korea.
Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said that he congratulated Putin - a figure who has loomed over his administration because of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election - on winning another term. President Donald Trump is being criticized by Sen.
The White House said Monday that it is "not surprised by the outcome" of Sunday's election, and that no congratulatory call was planned.
In a statement about the call between the two leaders, the Kremlin described diplomatic problems facing Russian Federation and the USA and confirmed Putin's intent to meet with Trump. The White House said the two leaders had a very good call and could meet again in the near future.
Trump says he also wants to discuss Ukraine, North Korea, and Syria with the Russian leader.
Sanders adds that the call was meant to discuss areas of cooperation between the US and Russian Federation.
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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later said that two key issues - Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and accusations that Russia used a nerve agent to poison a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom - likely did not come up during the call, but disagreed with McCain's criticism.
Ahead of Tuesday's phone call, national security aides provided Trump with several handwritten notecards filled with talking points to guide his conversation, as is customary for calls with foreign leaders, according to the officials with knowledge of the call, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
He said Trump had "insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future". "Russian relations", the Kremlin statement said according to The Washington Post.
"President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed that the successful reset in relations should be built upon during the coming years", it added.
Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump says there was no collusion. They met on the sidelines of an worldwide summit in Germany last summer and again more informally at another gathering of world leaders in Vietnam in November. Trump has repeatedly denied the charges and issued his strongest rebuke yet of special counsel Robert Mueller, attacking Mueller by name for the first time over the weekend while calling the investigation a "witch hunt".
"As I said before, when it comes to the missiles and the planes and all of the military equipment, there is nobody that even comes close to us in terms of the technology and the quality of the equipment", the president continued.