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MISSED SIGNAL

Comey says Putin was the first world leader to congratulate Trump on his inauguration

Trump was angry Flynn announced Putin's call days late
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Mike Flynn didn’t tell Trump about Putin’s call for days.
  • Max de Haldevang
By Max de Haldevang

Geopolitics reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

Former FBI director James Comey’s unclassified memos detail Donald Trump’s displeasure at belatedly hearing that a foreign leader, whose name has been redacted, had been the first to congratulate him on his inauguration—and that national security adviser Mike Flynn hadn’t told him for days.

That president was Russia’s Vladimir Putin, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall) and the AP.

Trump had previously believed Britain’s Theresa May had been the first to make a congratulatory call. When he found out nearly a week later that it was actually Putin, Trump gave a “heated reply” to Flynn that six days “was not an appropriate period of time to return a call,” according to Comey’s memo.

The Comey memo continues: “In telling the story, the president pointed his fingers at his head and said, ‘the guy has serious judgement issues.'”

Flynn was later fired for lying to vice president Mike Pence—18 days after the White House learned he was vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. Trump defended Flynn in a tweet this morning.

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