President Donald Trump has not spoken to the American people in a national address about what will soon be seven days and nights in a row of protests over the police killing of George Floyd, but he did call Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
The Kremlin made the announcement, noting specifically that Trump initiated the call. It’s not the first time the White House has not been the first to notify the American people of Trump’s calls with Putin.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters when asked Monday afternoon that she had no “details” on the call, and the White House has not released a readout, but the Kremlin did (here, and Google translation to English here.)
According to the Kremlin Trump notified Putin of his desire to add Russia and a few other nations to the G-7, which the U.S. is hosting in August or September. (Russia was kicked out after its annexation of Crimea, and has not taken any action to remedy that illegal move.)
Putin thanked Trump for sending American-made ventilators, and congratulated him on Saturday’s successful manned launch into space.
Discussions also included the coronavirus pandemic and oil.
The Kremlin’s readout does not mention the protests, but Trump held an especially violent call with the nation’s governors apparently after he spoke with Putin, based on his schedule. One official who listened to the call called it “unhinged.”
Russian world chess champion Gary Kasparov weighed in:
Wow, this must have come after Trump’s call with Putin! Criminalizing protest is always high on the agenda. But unconstitutional or not, this “tough” message can resonate with the right people in the right places. https://t.co/TO6RipX7Kx
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) June 1, 2020
As did Four Star U.S. Army General (Ret.) Barry McCaffrey:
Chaos in America. Trump consults Putin. The world turned upside down. https://t.co/y1lcJ1x1Vp
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) June 1, 2020
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