Donald Trump Defends Calling Vladimir Putin, Slams ‘Crazed’ Media & Former U.S. Presidents
Donald Trump has no remorse for calling Russian president Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his election victory this week.
Trump Defends Calling Putin News
Trump also lambasted the media for reporting on how he diverged from his script, and also criticized his predecessors for their poor handling of US-Russia relations.
White House officials leaked the contents of confidential notes Trump was given for the private phone call on Tuesday that implored him: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” Putin.
The President argued in a pair of tweets on Wednesday that he was simply attempt to improve relations between Washington and Moscow, particularly so as to ameliorate The United States’ handling of national security issues.
“I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also),” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to President Barack Obama’s call to Mr. Putin in 2012. “The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong!”
In addition to reportedly warning Trump not to congratulate Putin, advisers had also told the President to speak to the Russian leader about the recent nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter living in Britain. However, Trump ignored this instruction.
Chief of staff John F. Kelly was reportedly very disappointed and frustrated by the leaking of the notes given to Trump for the call.
“Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump wrote in another tweet. “They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, ISIS, Iran and even the coming Arms Race.”
Trump went on to excoriate his predecessors — from both parties — for their failed attempts at improving relations with Russia.
“Bush tried to get along, but didn’t have the ‘smarts,’” Trump wrote. “Obama and Clinton tried, but didn’t have the energy or chemistry (remember RESET).”
Trump was referring to the policy of Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state in Obama’s administration pursued a “reset” with Russia intended to ameliorate a dysfunctional relationship between the two nations.
Last week, several sanctions were imposed on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and for other “malicious cyber-attacks.” Russia was revealed to have also hacked the U.S. infrastructure, including American power grids.
Along with the U.S., France, Germany and Britain also condemned Russian government officials for breaking international law by assaulting a former spy named, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia.
Trump has repeatedly refused to criticize Putin directly over Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, a charge several U.S. intelligence agencies have levied on the nation that has led special counsel Robert S. Mueller to conduct an investigation that includes interrogating several Trump administration officials about their contacts with Russians. Trump said Putin was “very insulted” by the charge, and that the Russian leader — now re-elected to a third term — “means it” when he denied interfering in the 2016 election.