President Donald Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 20 to congratulate him for winning re-election even though the White House said Trump would not do so on March 19.
Trump boasted of his phone call to the Russian president, who has a long history of human rights violations, notes CNBC:
I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory. [We] will probably get together in the not-too-distant future [to discuss the international arms race].”
Putin’s only opponent on the ballot received just 12 percent of the vote in what appears to be another fixed win for the Russian strongman.
Putin’s most vocal opponent, Alexei Navalny, was not allowed to run by Putin’s government.
Both Trump and Putin have denied that Russia worked with the Trump campaign in 2016, despite U.S. intelligence agencies’ claims that Russian-backed operatives did interfere in the 2016 election.
Russia continues to back Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has used chemical weapons on his own people.