Amber Athey | White House Correspondent
President Donald Trump talked on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin for over an hour on Friday about various foreign policy topics, Trump revealed.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders first broke news of the call to reporters at the White House during a press gaggle. Sanders said the two world leaders discussed nuclear agreements, trade, North Korea, Ukraine and Venezuela, according to print pooler Debra Saunders. (RELATED: Trump Takes On Russia, Withdraws From Nuclear Treaty)
Trump confirmed the call in a series of tweets.
“Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia,” the president said. “As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
The pair also talked about the “Russian Hoax,” and Sanders clarified, “Very, very briefly it was discussed, essentially in the context that it’s over and there was no collusion, which I’m pretty sure both leaders were very well aware of long before this call took place.”
Trump and Putin previously sat down face-to-face during a 2018 summit in Helsinki, Finland. The president received harsh criticism for his performance during a joint press conference with Putin at the summit, wherein he said he “didn’t see any reason why” Russia would have meddled in the 2016 election and seemed to accept Putin’s denials that he was behind election interference.
At the same time, the president has taken steps to curb Russia’s influence, including authorizing the U.S. military to conduct cyber attacks against Russia to protect the 2018 midterms.