During an interview with Austrian television channel ORF Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he and President Donald Trump "regularly talk over the phone", and that in a recent call, his American counterpart voiced concern over the potential for a new arms race.
CNN set out to answer the question of how regularly Trump and Putin communicate, and according to the White House, the two have spoken by phone eight times since Trump took office – certainly less often than the president speaks with U.S. allies.
Trump and Putin have spoken by phone eight times, according to readouts distributed by the White House. They have met in person twice during Trump's presidency -- once at a formal bilateral meeting in Germany and once on the sidelines of a leaders' summit in Vietnam.
Could there be secret phone calls unaccounted for in the official readouts? The White House says no.
An administration official told CNN's Jeremy Diamond that the White House puts out readouts for every call Trump has with Putin, knowing that it "would've been a disaster if news leaked of a secret call."
Trump has spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel 14 times, French President Emmanuel Macron 27 times, and British Prime Minister Theresa May 26 times, per CNN’s tally.
During his last two years in office, former President Barack Obama spoke with Putin on a total of nine occasions.