President Donald Trump received a ton of flak from liberals for calling Russian President Vladimir Putin and congratulating him on his March election victory, but Trump claims President Barack Obama did the same thing.
A 2012 White House press release backs up that claim, saying, “President Obama called Russian President-elect and Prime Minister Putin to congratulate him on his recent victory. President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed to continue their efforts to find common ground and remove obstacles to better relations.”
Both the 2018 and 2012 Russian elections were almost certainly rigged. Obama’s statement almost exactly mirrors President Trump’s explanation for his own call, saying it’s beneficial for the U.S. to get along with Russia. But Trump may have overreached. While Obama did call Putin, he didn’t avoid criticism for doing so, as Trump seems to be implying.
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate at the time, laid into Obama, saying he should have criticized Russia for holding a phony election — which is exactly what people are telling Trump today.
Trump’s fellow-Republican, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, said Trump’s call was “foolhardy” and weakened America’s standing on the global stage. So while Trump is right and Obama did congratulate Putin, should Trump really be in the business of wanting to have things in common with Obama?
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