Trump calls to congratulate Putin on election win

Donald Trump

She says the US has every reason to believe that report is correct.

Asked by a reporter whether the White House believes the election in Russian Federation was free and fair, Sanders responded, "Look, in terms of the election, we're focused on our elections".

The president's tone drew a rebuke from Sen. John McCain and others for calling Putin on Tuesday to congratulate him for his re-election.

The White House said that in a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Trump and Putin discussed bilateral relations and the need to continue dialogue on key security priorities and challenges.

In short, Trump says he wants to avoid an arms race, yet is committed to huge military spending aimed at preventing other countries from approximating American military capabilities.

Moscow and Washington are at odds over Ukraine and Syria, while US allegations that Russian Federation interfered in the USA presidential election, something Moscow denies, continue to cast a shadow over ties.

"I don't believe that was discussed in today's call", she said.

"The call had to do also with the fact that we will probably get together in the not too distant future", Trump added.

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The former U.S. presidential candidate John McCain was quick to criticize Trump for his failure to raise allegations of widespread voter irregularities. Incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to win his fourth term as he got 75.91 percent of the votes after 70 percent of the ballots were counted, preliminary data from the Central Election Commission (CEC) showed.

McCain has previously called Putin a murderer and a thug.

Trump's decision Tuesday to ignore his advisers' guidance and congratulate Putin adds another layer to an emerging portrait in which the United States president has demonstrated a reluctance to confront the Russian leader amid an ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the 2016 election in his favor.

"I think probably we'll be seeing President Putin and the not-too-distant future", Trump told reporters during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. "I'm always reminded of the election they used to have in nearly every communist country where whoever the dictator was at the moment always got huge percentage of the vote".

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he called Russia President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his election victory and suggested the two leaders would meet shortly. "The leaders spoke in favour of developing practical co-operation in different spheres, including on questions of how to ensure strategic stability and fight global terrorism", the Kremlin said in a statement.

"Satisfaction has been expressed with a certain decrease in tensions around the Korean peninsula", the Kremlin said.

Apart from that, according to the Kremlin press service, the two leaders discussed further contacts between the two countries and topical worldwide issues. President Barack Obama called the Russian leader in 2012 and, according to a White House readout, congratulated him on winning his last reelection campaign.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies separately that Putin and Trump had not discussed the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

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