Schiff mocks Trump: Obama, Bush didn't need staff warning 'do not congratulate' Putin

Schiff mocks Trump: Obama, Bush didn't need staff warning 'do not congratulate' Putin
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Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Trump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe MORE (D-Calif.) mocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE for reportedly ignoring his staff’s warning not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin for his recent electoral victory.

After Trump tweeted a defense of his congratulatory phone call with Putin that included digs at his White House predecessors, Schiff tweeted that the previous three presidents did not need their staff to tell them to not congratulate Putin.

Former President Obama did congratulate Putin for his 2012 victory in a phone call.

Trump congratulated Putin on Tuesday even though, The Washington Post reported, his national security team had a section in his briefing materials that read “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in capital letters.

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The president also failed to follow his aides’ instructions to condemn Putin for the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the U.K.

A number of politicians, including Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Another recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us MORE (R-Ariz.) criticized the president for his remarks.

“An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections," McCain said.

Trump defended his congratulatory call by pointing out that Obama had done the same and arguing that “getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

Putin won his fourth term as president on Saturday with nearly 77 percent of the vote.

One of Putin’s biggest critics, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running due to a criminal conviction that many believe to have been politically motivated, and international election-watchers said the contest was tainted by ballot-stuffing and other irregularities.