Trump congratulates’ Putin on swearing-In

Trump and Putin exchanging greetings at the G20 Summit.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday said that President Donald Trump “congratulates” Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was sworn in to a new six-year term over the weekend after protests erupted across the country.

When asked if the White House had any message about the demonstrations, which led to the arrests of more than 1,600 people, Sanders replied that “the president congratulates [Putin] and looks forward to the time when we can hopefully have a good relationship with Russia.”

The United States believes everyone has the right to be heard and assemble peacefully,” she added. Trump congratulated Putin personally in a phone call shortly after he officially won the election, going against the advice of White House aides who reportedly told him not to congratulate the Russian leader.

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