In an open show of admiration for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump confirmed that he indeed called to congratulate Mr. Putin on winning Sunday’s presidential elections. Mr. Trump also mentioned that he and Mr. Putin would be meeting soon.
The US President did not take Mr. Putin to task for several troubling occurrences during Mr. Putin’s reign, most damagingly, Russia’s alleged attempts to manipulate the US elections two years ago. More recently, a former member of the Russian military and intelligence, as well as the man’s adult daughter, was poisoned in the UK earlier this month. British Prime Minister Theresa May has pointed at Russia as having caused the poisoning.
The Washington Post reports that Mr. Trump said the two world leaders will get together soon to talk about the arms race. “I suspect that we will probably be meeting in the not too distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control. … And also to discuss Ukraine and Syria and North Korea and various other things.”
He also talked about Mr. Putin’s statement that “being in an arms race is not a great thing” as one of the first things the Russian leader said after the elections. Mr. Trump then mentioned that the US is spending $700 billion on the military for 2018, “and a lot of it is that we are going to remain stronger than any other nation in the world, by far.”
Mr. Trump called the conversation “a very good call.” The US president’s obvious admiration for Mr. Putin has roused alarm, scorn and even derision among his countrymen.
In the meantime, Arizona’s Sen. John McCain tweeted his dismay at Mr. Trump’s congratulatory phone call with President Putin. “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. 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.” The Senator’s tweet has been re-tweeted more than 51,000 times.
Some netizens poked fun of the US President’s relationship with Mr. Putin
Others expressed their anger at Senator McCain
Others were unafraid to show their anger