The President demonstrated his wits and ability to be the bigger person last week by personally calling Vladimir Putin to congratulate the Russian leader on his election win. Putin has once again won the popular vote, being assigned the Russian presidency for another six-year term.
• The oddly-timed move is being questioned by Republican and Democratic leaders alike, most of whom assume Trump shouldn’t be giving Putin the time of day let alone congratulating him. Realistically, it was smart – not only does it show Trump won’t be brought down by Russia’s meddling, if any existed, but it also positions him as the better leader.
• Others have questioned the congratulating call because Putin is accused of conflating the democratic process through sham elections. There is evidence that Putin has manipulated the vote in the past to stay in power, much in the same way as Russia may have manipulated online American media sources both before and after the election.
• Senator McCain was one of the first to speak out, saying, “an American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.” He also added that “…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.”
• House spokesperson Sarah Sanders denies McClain’s claims vehemently. When questioned by the press, she reminded the public that the American President is not responsible for overseeing how Russia runs their country. “We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate,” she said. “Putin has been elected in their country and it not something we can dictate to them how they operate.”
• Trump also revealed that he plans to get together with Putin in a later call with another world leader. “…we will probably get together in the not too distant future so that we can discuss arms, we can discuss the arms race,” he said. The POTUS also indicated that the call may have opened up discussions about other important topics, including, “Ukraine, Syria, North Korea and other issues.”