Washington D.C. [United States], Mar 22 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump reportedly defied a specific warning from his national security team, when he called Russian President Vladimir Putin, to congratulate him on his landslide victory in Sunday's elections.
Trump's national security advisers had presented him with written briefing materials in capitals saying "DO NOT CONGRATULATE," The Washington Post said citing officials.
And it is not clear if President Trump, who prefers to hear briefings, read the notes, according to sources.
"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory," The Guardian quoted President Trump as saying.
However, in his conversation with Putin, Trump did not raise Russia's election interference or its suspected involvement in the poisoning of a former spy on British soil, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The former US presidential candidate John McCain was quick to criticise Trump for his failure to raise allegations of widespread voter irregularities.
"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 to determine their country's future, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin's regime," The Guardian quoted McCain as saying.
The United States President has consistently refused to criticise Putin, or acknowledge that Moscow might have played any part in putting him in the White House.
However, any meeting between the two leaders would be controversial, given the ongoing investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections.
The phone call also came just days after the United States imposed sanctions against 19 Russian nationals and five entities over Russian interference in the US elections. (ANI)