Trump Discusses Mueller Report, Venezuela in Hour-Long Phone Call With Putin

Alexey Nikolsky  Presidential Press Service  TASS

Alexey Nikolsky Presidential Press Service TASS

President Donald Trump says the "Russian Hoax" was one of the topics he discussed with Russian's Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) during a "Very productive talk!"

According to the Kremlin press service, the two presidents, Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation and Donald Trump of the United States, had a lengthy telephone conversation on Friday that was initiated by the USA side.

Mr. Trump also said Friday that he spoke briefly with Putin about the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

"Very good call yesterday with President [Vladimir] Putin of Russia", he wrote on his Twitter account commenting on Friday's telephone conversation with the Russian leader.

Trump later tweeted about the call, referring to the Muller investigation as the "Russian Hoax". It is still destined to be a hot button issue in Washington for a long time, however, considering how this week's congressional hearings with Attorney General William Barr went. Shanahan said Navy Adm. Craig Faller, commander of US Southern Command, participated in the meeting along with other senior officials Pompeo and John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser.

Officials previously have said the military options under consideration included actions before Maduro's possible departure, such as sending additional military assets to the region, increasing aid to neighboring countries and providing humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans who have fled the country.

The US and about 50 other nations take the position that President Nicolas Maduro's re-election a year ago was irrevocably marred by fraud and he is not the legitimate president of Venezuela.

Putin and Trump also discussed potential areas of cooperation, the Kremlin said, including on economic issues and arms control, and agreed that the United States and Russian Federation should keep talking.

Trump said that, at no point, did he warn Putin not to meddle in the next election.

"We need that", Trump said, adding, "and they are also, and China, frankly, they are also". Putin also told Trump that the new leadership in Ukraine should take steps to solve the Ukrainian crisis, the Kremlin said. The Kremlin said the two also covered Venezuela.

"Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russian Federation".

"A mutual commitment was confirmed to activating dialogue in various spheres, including on questions of strategic stability", the Kremlin said.

Trump cancelled a summit meeting with Putin late a year ago after Russian Federation seized three Ukrainian Navy ships on November 25 and arrested 24 sailors.

Trump has repeatedly declined to publicly rebuff Putin for the 2016 operation.

A redacted version of the special counsel's report was made public last month.

Trump has called the New START treaty concluded by his predecessor, Barack Obama, a "bad deal" and "one-sided".