In call with Putin, Trump denounced Obama-era nuclear arms treaty

Reuters reports: In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call.

When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said.

Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said. [Continue reading…]

The Washington Post reports: The White House is probing ongoing leaks of President Trump’s private conversations with foreign leaders, including a report Thursday that he criticized a 2011 U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty during last month’s call with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

“We’re looking into the situation, and it’s very concerning,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, deploring “the idea that you can’t have a conversation without that information getting out. . . . We’re trying to conduct serious business on behalf of the country.”

On the same day as the Putin call, Jan. 28, The Washington Post reported that Trump told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that their conversation was “the worst call by far” and blasted him over a pending refu­gee deal negotiated by the Obama administration. Tensions were also reported during a call the day before with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. [Continue reading…]

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