Putin: Trump and I ‘regularly talk over the phone’
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he and President Trump talk “regularly” over the phone.
Putin spoke with Austrian news outlet ORF TV ahead of a visit to Vienna on Tuesday.
“Indeed, Donald Trump and I have, firstly, met more than once at various international venues and secondly, we regularly talk over the phone,” Putin said, according to the official transcript the Kremlin released online.
Putin was responding to a question about special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations in February.
He noted that he has not had a one-on-one summit with Trump as he did with former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, but said that the two leaders talk regularly.
“As for personal meetings, I think that the possibility of these meetings depends to a large extent on the internal political situation in the United States,” Putin said.
Putin noted the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election while saying, “the president of the United States is coming under attack over various matters,” Putin said.
He added that the political situation was the main reason the two leaders have not had a bilateral summit.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.
According to official White House statements, the two presidents have spoken on the phone eight times since Trump took office in January 2017.
The last time they spoke was March 20 when Trump reportedly ignored the advice of White House officials and congratulated Putin on his reelection.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the White House is preparing a potential summit between Trump and Putin.