Reaction To Trump’s Congratulatory Phone Call To Putin
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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On Tuesday, March 20, 2018, President Trump called and congratulated President Vladimir V. Putin on his re-lection, without raising any of the issues such as the lopsided nature of Putin’s victory, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or Moscow’s recent nerve gas attack on a former spy on Russia living in Britain. Contrary to the advice of his national security advisers (writing on his brief materials, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE”), Trump congratulated Putin and only focused the call on the common interests shared between U.S. and Russia, in North Korea and Ukraine. Apparently Trump never saw the briefing cards.
“We had a very good call….We will probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future.” President Trump told the reporters in the Oval Office. Trump’s optimistic disposition was unexpected, considering it has only been five days since Trump administration levied the most significant sanctions on Russia since Trump took office, for interference with the U.S. presidential election and for “malicious cyber attacks.” The U.S. joined Britain, France, and Germany in denouncing the Russian government for violating international law and for the nerve agent attack on the former spy in UK, Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Republican lawmakers faulted Trump for congratulating Putin. Senator John McCain of Arizona and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said, ““An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” he stated,. “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.”
“Restrictions on the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression, as well as on candidate registration, have limited the space for political engagement and resulted in a lack of genuine competition,” observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a report.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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