Donald Trump congratulates Vladimir Putin on election, leaders look to meet soon

US President Donald Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg Germany

President Donald Trump has called Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election, drawing bruising criticism from members of his own party, including a leading senator who scorned the election as a "sham".

Later commenting on the possible meeting, Trump told reporters "we will probably get together in the not too distant future".

Trump's national security team had told Trump not to congratulate Putin on winning a fourth term during a phone call on Tuesday, even placing a section in his briefing materials that read "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" in all-capital letters, according to the Post.

The presidents "agreed to develop further bilateral contacts, taking into account changes in the US State Department, " the Kremlin statement said in a reference to Trump's decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The Kremlin noted that "in general, the conversation was constructive and businesslike and focused on overcoming the problems that have accumulated in Russian-US relations".

"The leaders spoke out in favor of developing practical cooperation in various spheres including the issues of ensuring strategic stability and the fight against global terrorism", the statement added.

Trump talked to reporters about the call with Putin, saying it was "very good".

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Trump's congratulatory call comes as suspicion of rigged election procedures in Russian Federation abounds, including Putin's primary opponent, Alexei Navalny, being barred from the ballot, according to The Washington Post. Before the election even began, the impartiality of the results was compromised. John McCain, a noted Russian Federation hawk, who said "an American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections".

"I do not believe it came up on that call", Sanders said.

He said Trump had "insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future".

John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee and has pressed the Trump administration to respond aggressively to Russia's interference in the USA presidential election.

Trump "emphasized the importance of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula", the White House added in a separate statement. Some world leaders have hesitated to congratulate Putin, since his reelection occurred in an environment of state control of much of the news media and with his most prominent opponent barred from the ballot.

Ties between Russian Federation and the United States have been severely strained by disagreements over issues including Russia's aggression in Ukraine, its role in the war in Syria, and its alleged interference in Western politics and elections.

Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump says there was no collusion. Trump has said there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russians.

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