Putin, Trump hold phone conversation

Putin, Trump hold phone conversation

Kerry Wise
May 6, 2019

It had been a "long and very good conversation", let Trump on Twitter.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that the call was an "overall positive conversation".

Coats and a slew of other officials - then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, FBI Director Chris Wray, NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo - also all confirmed past year the intelligence community's findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 and would continue targeting future elections. The topic was only touched on briefly. But he knew that because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever.

The political power struggle in Venezuela had led to significant tensions between Washington and Moscow.

"The president's primary focus throughout the call was about helping the people of Venezuela".

Putin seemed amused, said Trump.

With Russian personnel on the ground in Venezuela since March, National Security Advisor John Bolton issued a stark warning last week: "This is our hemisphere - it's not where the Russians ought to be interfering". He said - I think it was in a tweet several weeks back - the Russians have to get out.

The two leaders also discussed Ukraine. "Right now people are starving", he added.

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They already spoke by phone on Wednesday, with Pompeo accusing Moscow of meddling in the country by continuing to support embattled President Nicolas Maduro, and Lavrov accusing Washington of wielding "destructive influence" by backing opposition leader Juan Guaido. "Russia has sent at least a planeload full of these little green men that we've seen in eastern Ukraine and they are destabilizing the situation" now in Venezuela.

In October, Mr Trump announced the USA would withdraw from a landmark weapons pact, the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. During the telephone call, it went directly to this disarmament Treaty, but it appears that Washington is showing an effort, a still existing contract to extend.

Also discussed, according to Sanders, was the possibility of a new nuclear agreement involving the United States, Russia and China, or extending the current pact.

"We have worked diligently to protect America's election system, something I wish the previous administration had done more effectively", he said.

If the two cleared up about the latest steps in the Negotiations, is unclear.

On North Korea, Sanders said the two spoke about North Korea "a good bit of time on the call and reiterated both the commitment and need for denuclearization".

In an hourlong "very good talk" on Friday, Russia's president "sort of smiled" about Mueller's conclusions, Trump told reporters at the White House.