Donald Trump Calls Mueller Report A “Hoax” During Phone Call To Vladimir Putin
President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had a long phone call for more than an hour on Friday. This is the first time they have spoken since the conclusion of the Mueller Report, an investigation Trump labeled a “hoax” in his summary of the call.
“We discussed Trade, Venezuela, Ukraine, North Korea, Nuclear Arms Control and even the ‘Russian Hoax,'” Trump tweeted about his discussion with Putin. “Very productive talk!”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said they “very briefly” discussed the end of the Mueller investigation, “essentially in the context of that it’s over and there was no collusion.”
“The conversation on that part was very quick, but what I can tell you is that this administration, unlike the previous one, takes election meddling seriously. And we’re going to do everything that we can to prevent it from happening. That’s why we’ve taken a whole-of-government approach,” she stated.
Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia. As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
Critics say Trump should have admonished Putin over meddling in the 2016 election and warn him not to do it in 2020.
“By calling it the ‘Russian Hoax’ Trump is giving Putin tacit approval to continue meddling. And worse yet, he’s essentially sending a cease and desist to anyone in our government who might be inclined to publicly acknowledge and counter this threat.” tweeted Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.).
Trump’s failure to confront Putin on election interference wasn’t out of cowardice or absentmindedness. It’s deliberate and strategic. Which makes it all the more dangerous.
And it’s why Congress struggles to have productive conversations around this issue with admin officials. https://t.co/rky16hOoKD
— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) May 3, 2019
Sanders says the call’s real purpose was to focus on the people of Venezuela. The U.S. backs Juan Guaido while Putin and Russia back President Nicholas Maduro.
“The President’s primary focus throughout the call was about helping the people of Venezuela, making it clear that the United States stands with the people of Venezuela and the importance of making sure those individuals are able to get the food and the water and the medical supplies that is needed,” Sanders said. “The President reiterated that sentiment several times throughout the call.”