For his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump had a few brief notes from staff. The top of those notes read, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” — but that’s exactly what Trump did. He also did not rebuke Putin for the poisoning on British soil.
"DO NOT CONGRATULATE," national security advisers wrote in Trump's written briefing ahead of call with Vladimir Putin. Trump congratulated. The notes said to condemn the attack of an ex-Russian spy in London with a nerve agent. He did not. https://t.co/HjCkbdkbb4
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 20, 2018
PJM’s Bridget Johnson reported earlier today:
The White House said in a readout of the call that the two leaders “discussed the state of bilateral relations and resolved to continue dialogue about mutual national security priorities and challenges.”
“President Trump congratulated President Putin on his March 18 re-election, and emphasized the importance of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” the statement continued. “The two leaders confirmed the need for the United States and Russia to continue our shared efforts on strategic stability.”
If the Washington Post story is true, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will have a particularly excruciating job to perform tomorrow. Trump has made numerous faux pas, and it seems he has a problem following directions and abiding by the rules of decent behavior. This is why I couldn’t support him, even after he took the Republican nomination.
I keep hoping that Trump will prove me wrong, and his anti-regulation push, his statements on religious freedom, his nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and other things have helped me warm to him. Even so, at the end of the day, Trump is Trump, and episodes like this confirm his impulsiveness.