Administration

Axios: Trump ‘lashed out’ at Putin over propaganda video

President Trump in March berated Russian President Vladimir Putin over a Russian propaganda video that appeared to show nuclear missiles falling on Florida, according to a Sunday Axios report.

In the video about Russia’s nuclear power, a graphic simulation shows missiles raining down on the home state of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. 

Trump reportedly got heated with Putin about the video during a previously reported phone call on March 20, calling it “outrageous.”

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The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Trump reportedly made these comments during the phone call after Putin’s reelection, when Trump’s national security advisers gave the president briefing materials that read “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to The Washington Post.

Though Trump has often refused to openly criticize Putin, he told the Russian president the video was out of line, Axios reported. The White House did not comment on the video publicly. 

A source familiar with the conversation told Axios that the exchange was abnormal, calling the typical exchanges between the two leaders “a bit of a love fest.” 

Recalling the conversation, the source told Axios that Trump told Putin, “I’ve already increased defense spending, modernized our nuclear weapons … so if you want to do an arms race, you’ll lose.”

A National Security Council spokesperson declined to comment to Axios.

The report emerges as Trump gears up to meet with Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

Though Trump has openly criticized several historic U.S. allies in recent days, he has avoided overt criticism of Putin, even as special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for conspiring to influence the 2016 presidential election. 

Tags Donald Trump Robert Mueller
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