President Donald Trump said Tuesday he congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin for winning reelection earlier this month, provoking a strong rebuke from GOP Sen. John McCain.
Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said that he congratulated Putin — a figure who has loomed over his administration because of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election — on winning another term. The result of the election, however, was never in doubt, given Putin’s autocratic stranglehold on power.
Trump’s decision to congratulate Putin on his electoral win drew consternation from McCain who said that “an American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.”
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