President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Vladimir Putin on Friday for close to 1.5 hours, during which the Russian leader argued for lifting sanctions off North Korea, and scaling down U.S. involvement in Venezuela’s political crisis, according to Bloomberg.
The president tweeted on Saturday that the call underlined the “tremendous potential for a good/great relationship with Russia.”
Trump told reporters that Putin asserted he did not plan to get involved in Venezuela. Earlier this week, however, national security adviser John Bolton, and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Russia convinced Maduro to remain in Venezuela after Juan Guaido called for an uprising to end his government on May 30.
The statement opened the president to attacks from Democrats who accused him of repeatedly taking Putin’s promises at face value, in spite of his advisers’ opinions. That same Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders said Trump simply was “relaying what President Putin said to him. That’s it.”
Putin also reportedly spoke about the need to control North Korea’s denuclearization and briefed the president on his April 25 meeting with Kim Jong Un in Vladivostok. According to Bloomberg, Pyongyang launched a series of short-range missiles from its Eastern coast just hours after the meeting with the Russian president.
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