Russian state TV is predictably joyous over Trump's congratulatory call to Putin. One day earlier, Kremlin spokesman Peskov used a proverb "Utro vechera mudrenee," which can be loosely translated as "Better sleep on it."
State TV host says: "Trump got scared of Peskov & called." pic.twitter.com/0KKbnz9aN1
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) March 21, 2018
President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.
Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow.
The president’s conversation with Putin, which Trump described as a “very good call,” prompted fresh criticism of his muted tone toward one of the United States’ biggest geopolitical rivals amid the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials.
Although the Trump administration has taken a tougher stance toward Russia recently — including new sanctions last week on some entities for election meddling and cyberattacks — the president has declined to forcefully join London in denouncing Moscow for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, this month. They remain critically ill.
Trump told reporters that he had offered his well wishes on Putin’s new six-year term during a conversation that covered a range of topics, including arms control and the security situations in Syria and North Korea. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Skripal’s case was not discussed. [Continue reading…]
When will we see the NDA that Putin made Trump sign? https://t.co/KciJCPL6Lq
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 20, 2018
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