Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Just Spoke on the Phone for an Hour and People Are Making the Same Joke

US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia's attack on the 2016 election with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an hour-long phone call.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that "both leaders knew there was no collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign. Sanders said that the topic was addressed "very, very briefly” during the call Friday morning.

Gotta check in with the boss, eh?

No collusion?

Recall that at a summit in Helsinki, Finland last June, Trump met with Putin behind closed doors and deferred to Putin's denial that Russia meddled in the election.

Putin was “strong and powerful in his denial," Trump said.

“They said they think it’s Russia; I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump told reporters as he stood just six feet from Putin. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Nevertheless, Mueller made it crystal clear in his report that Russia mounted a coordinated and concerted effort to disrupt the election and engineer a Trump victory and that both sides sought to benefit from those efforts.

"The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." the report states.  “The investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts."

Mueller could not establish, however, that actors within the Trump campaign participated in a criminal conspiracy with the Russians.

“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts," Mueller wrote, "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Sanders would not confirm if Trump reprimanded Putin for interfering in the election or warned him against doing so in the future.

Onward to 2020?

What we do know, however, is that the White House has torpedoed efforts to safeguard American election systems ahead of next year's election.

Notably, a bipartisan bill aiming to shore up voting machines and requiring paper ballots to ensure legitimate results was shelved last summer after the White House and Republicans in the Senate treated it as dead on arrival.

The White House claimed at the time that the legislation would “violate the principles of federalism.”

“We cannot support legislation with inappropriate mandates or that moves power or funding from the states to Washington for the planning and operation of elections,” White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters said.

On Wednesday, Democrats in the Senate blasted the administration's refusal to protect our democratic processes.

“It was Don McGahn,” Wisconsin Senator Amy Klobuchar, a 2020 presidential hopeful, said Wednesday of the former White House counsel. “He called Republicans about the bill, didn’t want them to do it. And McConnell also didn’t want the bill to move forward. So it was a double-edged thing.”

McGahn, a former head of the Federal Election Commission, “had a personal interest in it," Klobuchar said. Now that McGahn is out, “maybe they can look at it fresh," she added.


As millions of Americans commemorated the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., presidential counsellor Kellyanne Conway railed against the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, set to begin in the Senate on Tuesday.

The President, who leaves for the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday night, has no public plans to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, prompting reporters to ask Kellyanne how he intended to celebrate.

Keep reading...

The long-awaited tenth season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm premiered this week, and the show's creator Larry David wasted no time in skewering current events.

One of the premiere episode's standout moments came when Larry tried on a red Make America Great Again cap—the signature accessory for supporters of President Donald Trump

Keep reading...
Drew Angerer/Getty Images // Stephen F. Somerstein/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's reaction to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the Charlottesville riots hasn't been forgotten, even two years later.

The President infamously asserted that there were "very fine people on both sides" at the Unite the Right rally, where white supremacists protested the removal of a confederate statue. The ensuing violence resulted in the murder of counter-protestor Heather Heyer.

Keep reading...
ABC News

The Senate is gearing up for a historic impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, who withheld congressionally approved aid from Ukraine on the condition that its leaders announce investigations against his political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Days after taking an oath of impartiality, some Republican senators are making the rounds to defend Trump's actions.

Keep reading...
Erik Voake/Getty Images for Hulu via Getty Images // Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Amendment 4—a Florida referendum restoring voting rights to former felons—passed in 2018 with 65% of the vote, paving the way for an additional 1.4 million voters in the swing state.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis immediately took steps to undermine the public will by signing into law a bill that would only restore voting rights to felons who fully pay all fees and fines imposed after leaving prison.

Under Florida law, court debts left unpaid after three months are referred to private debt collectors, who can then tack on a surcharge of up to 40%.

Keep reading...
John Sommers II/Getty Images

A day after Senators took an oath of impartiality in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, the President eagerly announced the team of lawyers who will be defending him.

Two names on the list stood out.

Keep reading...