Trump said on Friday he was being sarcastic when he thanked Putin for saving the US money by ordering cuts in embassy staff in Russia.
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had a previously undisclosed conversation during a dinner for G20 leaders at a summit earlier this month in Germany, a White House official said on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the Qatar dispute with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa in a telephone call, the Kremlin said on Saturday.
Russia and Turkey have a fragile alliance, made worse by the fact that they back opposing sides in the Syrian civil conflict.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would stay out of any probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election but maintained he did nothing wrong by failing to disclose he met last year with Russia’s ambassador.
US Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign on Wednesday after the Washington Post reported he failed to disclose two meetings he had with Russia’s ambassador before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.
Trump denounced intelligence agencies for their assessment that Russia sought to influence the election on his behalf, prompting concerns about his support for them.
Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin was regarded highly by President Vladimir Putin and was always a pugnacious defender of Russian policy, notably its intensive bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo last year to crush rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Trump’s presidential campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.
By taking centre stage at the Astana conference with Turkey as its ally and asserting itself in the Syrian civil war by organising a ceasefire, Russia has re-established itself as a global power of consequence.