Trump’s bromance with Russian president Vladimir Putin is reaching new heights. After years of playing coy, Don finally had the guts to issue an invite for a sleepover.
No, this is not an article about the machinations of junior high girls. It is indeed about two heads of state. The Washington Post reported what was said during the ill-advised phone call Trump made to congratulate Putin on his (totally legitimate) election win:
‘President Trump proposed meeting Vladimir Putin at the White House in a March phone call, the Kremlin said Monday, a fresh revelation about a conversation that stirred controversy over Trump’s friendly tone toward the Russian leader amid mounting tensions with the West.’
Despite Donald Trump’s constant claims that he and Putin are totally BFFs, Trump continues to very obviously court Putin’s favor. The ups and downs have been helpfully chronicled by The Washington Post.
In 2013, way before his presidential bid, Donald Trump showed signs of his developing crush:
Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2013
He bragged about his connections to Putin in a sit-down with MSNBC, also in 2013:
His fawning stretched into 2014:
‘I was in Russia, I was in Moscow recently. And I spoke indirectly — and directly — with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.’
But during the election, Trump drastically changed his characterization of the relationship, saying:
‘“I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius. I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.”’
Finally, the building tension was broken. Trump and Putin finally set eyes on each other, face-to-face:
That much anticipated handshake between Trump and Putin at the G20 👇 pic.twitter.com/x8JZEMFItX
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 7, 2017
Despite his history of dodgy claims to both know and not know Putin, Trump’s thirst is obvious in this one fact: He has never personally criticized Putin.
In fact, it seems like Russia is closer to Trump than his own press staff. The news that Trump personally invited Putin to the White House was broken by none other than the Kremlin itself. Bloomberg News reports:
‘“When our presidents spoke on the phone, Trump suggested having the meeting in Washington at the White House,” Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Monday. “This is quite an interesting, positive idea.”’
The Kremlin isn’t lying. The White House confirmed it today:
‘White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later that the two leaders had discussed a meeting “at a number of potential venues, including the White House.”’
This isn’t the first time that Russia has announced what President Trump will do before the White House. They were the ones that publicized their first meeting. The White House later confirmed that as well.