Administration

Trump, Macron vow to ‘hold Russia accountable’ for nerve agent attack

President Trump on Wednesday condemned Russia’s alleged poisoning of a former double agent in the U.K. during a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, after he failed to raise the subject in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 
 
Trump and Macron “reiterated their solidarity with the United Kingdom in the wake of Russia’s use of chemical weapons against private citizens on British soil and agreed on the need to take action to hold Russia accountable,” the White House said in a statement. 
 
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The White House did not spell out specific steps it might take to punish Russia for the attack.
 
The call comes one day after Trump placed a congratulatory call to Putin for his reelection win, but failed to raise the nerve-agent attack and other points of tension between the two countries. 
 
Trump’s omission, which defied the advice of his own staff, angered congressional Republicans and Democrats alike and renewed concerns about his approach to Russia. 
  
Moscow has faced widespread condemnation after former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were hospitalized after coming in contact with a powerful nerve agent.
 
The U.S., U.K. and France have all blamed Russia for the attack, an accusation the Kremlin has denied. 
 
The Trump administration has taken several steps to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its military intervention in Ukraine. But the president has long been reluctant to publicly criticize Putin. 
 
Macron is scheduled to make a state visit to the U.S. in April, the first such visit by a foreign leader during Trump’s presidency, during which he has been invited to address a joint session of Congress by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Tags Donald Trump Paul Ryan

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