White House defends Putin call

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit Friday

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Before the call, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Trump's national security advisers warned him in briefing materials in all-capital letters, "DO NOT CONGRATULATE".

The White House had said Monday that it was "not surprised by the outcome" of Sunday's presidential election in Russian Federation and that no congratulatory call was planned.

The decision by staff to leak of such sensitive information about Oval Office deliberations exposed a deep frustration within the White House about the president's ad-hoc approach and disregard for the advice of his inner circle.

"I don't think I'll talk about Trump making a phone call, but I'm very happy to make a comment on what you asked me".

"Getting along with Russian Federation (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing, ' Trump said, adding that Russian Federation can 'help solve problems" from North Korea to 'the coming Arms Race'.

He said that during their hoped-for meeting the two men would likely discuss Ukraine, Syria and North Korea.

"The President calls Putin - not to condemn him for using a nerve agent in Britain or interfering in our election - but to congratulate him on winning an election in which his top opponent was prohibited from running", Schiff, of California, wrote on Twitter.

Last month, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations on charges of interfering in the election.

Instead, Trump gushed about the call during a press appearance with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

For critics, Trump's call offered Putin legitimacy while giving him a wedge to drive between Western allies and within the White House itself.

"When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results".

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On Tuesday, Trump called to congratulate Putin on his re-election.

It was not clear whether Trump read the notes, administration officials said.

"If this story is accurate, that means someone leaked the president's briefing papers".

One of the White House officials described anger and disappointment in the West Wing over the leak.

"I can't tell you anything else right now", he said.

"If you don't like the guy, quit". To be this duplicitous and leak stuff out, it's risky.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the poisoning.

Other White House aides were also upset and disappointed over the leak, with one calling it "unacceptable" and another "ridiculous".

But the poisoning incident did not appear to come up in Trump's call with Putin.

"There are no specific plans made at this time", said the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at a daily briefing.

McMaster briefed the president in person before the conversation in the White House residence.

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