Amongst the current probe into Russian suspected interference in the US election held in year 2016, a new debate has come up with U.S. president Donald Trump congratulating his Russian mate Vladimir Putin on his re-election, in spite of warning as a national security adviser that not to do so.
“I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory — his electoral victory,” he told reporters on Tuesday, adding: “The call had to do, also, with the fact that we will probably get together in the not-too-distant future so that we can discuss arms, we can discuss the arms race.”
“We had a very good call, and I suspect that we’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control, but we will never allow anybody to have anything even close to what we have. And also to discuss Ukraine and Syria and North Korea and various other things,” Trump said.
Later in the day, The Washington Post, citing officials familiar with the call, reported that Trump did not follow “specific warnings from his national security advisers”, set out in briefing materials in all-capital letters, stating: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE”.
While there was no tweet from Trump himself on the subject, CNN cited a source as saying that the president was “infuriated” over the leak to the media that he had been directly instructed not to congratulate the Russian leader.
Trump’s congratulatory words also provoked fellow-Republican John McCain, known for his hawkish stance on Moscow, to put out a sharply critical statement against Trump.
“An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” Senator McCain said, adding: “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.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell commented that Trump can “call whomever he chooses,” but added that calling Putin “wouldn’t have been high on my list”. Yet another Republican, Senator Marco, said he doesn’t agree with Trump congratulating Putin.
Writer: S Rajagopalan
Courtesy: The Pioneer