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'Congratulating Dictators on Winning Sham Elections': Is Criticism of Trump's Phone Call to Putin Valid?

03-21-2018
Trump Putin

President Trump says he will soon meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the president is already facing criticism for calling Putin to congratulate him on his reelection.

"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory," the president said during his meeting with Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman Tuesday.

"I suspect that we'll probably be meeting in the not too distant future to discuss the arms race, 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," he continued.

He said when they meet they will also discuss Ukraine, Syria, and North Korea.

They did not discuss Russia's meddling in the 2016 election nor the country's suspected involvement in poisoning a former spy in Britain.

As CBN News has reported, Putin's "win" can't really be called an election because it was rigged. Video even showed ballot boxes being stuffed.

Trump's phone call to Putin is now drawing criticism from Republicans, including from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

"An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections," he said.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also said the president's call is "odd."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the president "can call whomever he chooses," but he noted that calling Putin "wouldn't have been high on his list," the Associated Press reports.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president's call is not out of the ordinary.

President Barack Obama made a similar call during Putin's last electoral victory.

Putin also received other calls from foreign leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

MORE: The New Russian Czar: Why Putin Doesn't Want Peace

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