US President Donald Trump has been criticised for congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin for his re-election as Russia’s leader for a fourth term.
Republican Senator and former presidential nominee, John McCain said in a statement: “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.
“And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin's regime."
Putin’s landslide victory in Sunday’s election has been tainted with accusations of vote rigging.
McCain has previously called Putin “a murderer and a thug”; and called on the Trump administration to respond aggressively to Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Today, Trump said he had a “very good call” with Putin and hoped they will meet in the “not too distant future” to discuss the arms race and foreign relations.