Vladimir Putin won Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, securing a fourth term in office in a landslide victory. His win was hardly a surprise, as Russia’s Election Commission banned the anti-Putin opposition candidate Alexei Navalny from running his campaign, who was probably the only serious contender who could have beaten the authoritarian leader.
Putin’s win now makes him the second longest running leader in Russian history behind Josef Stalin, which is why his victory was largely met with silence from leaders around the world, particularly in Western nations. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who recently declared himself “president for life,” was unsurprisingly one of the few to wish his warmest regards.
That is until Tuesday, during a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office, President Trump fielded questions from reporters on the subject.
“I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory,” Trump admitted, because of course he did. He then launched into his trademark word salad in which he repeated himself almost verbatim.
The call also had to do with the fact that we will probably get together in the not-too-distant future so that we can discuss we can discuss arms, we can discuss the arms race. As you know he made a statement that being in an arms race is not a great thing — it was right after the election, it was one of the first statements he made, and we are spending 700 billion dollars this year in our military and a lot of it is that we are going to remain stronger than any other nation in the world by far.
We had a very good call and I suspect that we’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race which is getting out of control, but we will never allow anybody to have anything even close to what we have, and also to discuss Ukraine, and Syria, and North Korea, and various other things so I think we’ll probably be seeing President Putin in the not-too-distant future.
That’s three “in the not-too-distant futures,” if anyone was counting. The proposed meeting comes on the heels of news that Trump will also be holding a meeting with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Un. Diplomacy for days, people.