Trump and Putin will talk Tuesday afternoon
The call comes after Putin denounced the US strike against a Syrian government air base
President Donald Trump is set to speak by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, their first call since Russia denounced a US military strike against Syria last month.
Trump and Putin will talk Tuesday afternoon, a White House official said, in their third phone conversation since Trump took office. They last spoke following a terror attack in St. Petersburg, Russia, in early April, and also chatted a week after Trump’s inauguration in January.
The call comes after Putin characterized a US strike against a Syrian government air base “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law.” The US strike was in response to a suspected chemical attack by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, a Putin ally, on his own people.
Questions also continue to swirl over ties between Trump and Russian cyberintrusions during the 2016 presidential campaign, which the FBI and multiple Capitol Hill committees are investigating.
Trump on Putin
Trump said during the presidential campaign that he views Putin as a “strong leader” and hoped to be able to build a good relationship with him.
“I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there’s nothing I can think of that I’d rather do than have Russia friendly, as opposed to the way they are right now, so that we can go and knock out ISIS with other people,” he said in July 2016.
In January, Trump said that he believed that Russia was responsible for the hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016:
“I think it was Russia,” Trump said, adding that Putin “should not be doing it.”
“He won’t be doing it. Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I am leading it than when other people have led it,” the then President-elect said.
In February, Trump told reporters he would “love to be able to get along with Russia:
“Now, you’ve had a lot of presidents that haven’t taken that tack. Look where we are now. Look where we are now. So, if I can – now, I love to negotiate things, I do it really well, and all that stuff. But – but it’s possible I won’t be able to get along with Putin.”
The Kremlin’s statement after the US strike in Syria appeared pessimistic, saying the intervention had “dealt a serious blow to Russian-US relations, which are already in a poor state.”