Trump says to meet with Putin in 'not too distant future'

Desiree Steele
March 21, 2018

Sanders adds that the call was meant to discuss areas of cooperation between the US and Russian Federation.

Even as Russian Federation continues to flaunt new weapons and military technology, Trump seems far from anxious and expressed confidence in the current USA military stature.

Donald Trump congratulated Putin on his election victory Sunday, according to a statement published on the Kremlin's official website.

He's also pressed the Trump administration to respond aggressively to Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election. Trump has often refrained from outright condemnation of Russian Federation and has mostly refused to comment on claims that the country tried to influence the last presidential election.

Trump talked to reporters about the call with Putin, saying it was "very good".

The U.S. State Department endorsed the OSCE's preliminary findings, said spokesperson Heather Nauert, and called Trump's call to Putin "protocol".

Trump says to meet with Putin in 'not too distant future'

Crises in Syria and Ukraine were also discussed. After multiple administration officials put out statements condemning Russian Federation for the attack, the White House responded by imposing sanctions on Russian Federation for the poisoning and its interference in the 2016 election.

Putin won a landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election, extending his rule over the world's largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.

"We don't get to dictate how other countries operate", she said.

Another unnamed senior White House official told the outlet, however, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster did not mention the issue during a telephone briefing with the president.

"Why is the president so reluctant to criticize Putin?"

"I congratulated him on the victory, the electoral victory", Trump told reporters at the White House while meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The US leader failed to mention the nerve-agent attack - despite the US issuing a statement last week, along with Britain, France and Germany, condemning Russian Federation.

Putin denied that Russian Federation had any role and called the claim "nonsense".

Trump's call came at a period of heightened tensions between the two nations after the White House imposed sanctions on Russian Federation for its interference in the 2016 USA election and other "malicious cyberattacks".

"We've been very clear in the actions that we've taken that we're going to be tough on Russian Federation, particularly when it comes to areas that we feel where they've stepped out of place", Sanders said.

The Kremlin readout of the call with Trump said the two "spoke in favor of developing practical cooperation in various areas, including efforts to ensure strategic stability and combat global terrorism, with particular emphasis on the importance of coordinated efforts to curb an arms race".

Trump also did not follow aides' instructions that he condemn Putin over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom, according to the Post.

No details were released about the timing or location of the possible meeting, which would be the third since Trump took office in January 2017.

Trump and Putin last met in Vietnam during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. "Special attention is paid to the elaboration of the question of holding a meeting at the highest level", it said.

But Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appeared less concerned, noting Trump has also offered congratulations to other leaders of more totalitarian states.

Sanders was pressed on Trump's call with Putin, but said that the White House believes maintaining a relationship with Putin is worth it, despite some outstanding issues.

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