President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement to commemorate the 75th anniversary of a meeting between American and Soviet troops at the end of World War II. White House officials are reportedly concerned about Trump’s close relationship with Putin. 

Trump and Putin said the meeting at the end of World War II “heralded the decisive defeat of the Nazi regime.” Some lawmakers and administration officials, however, are uncomfortable with the gesture. 

White House officials and lawmakers reportedly expressed concern over the joint statement because they believe it would make the U.S. appear weaker to Russia. 

Angela Stent, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, told the Wall Street Journal that the statement was Putin’s idea. 

“Putin wants validation from the United States that today’s Russia, like the Soviet Union, is a great power,” Stent added. 

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