Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.
Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow.
The president’s conversation with Putin, which Trump described as a “very good call,”
Trump Assails Mueller, Drawing Rebukes From Republicans https://nyti.ms/2GINHmV
lashing out at what he characterized as a partisan investigation and raising questions about whether he might seek to shut it down.
Mr. Trump has long suggested that allegations that he or his campaign conspired with Russia to influence the election were a “hoax” and part of a “witch hunt,” but until this weekend he had largely heeded the advice of lawyers who counseled him not to directly attack Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for fear of aggravating prosecutors.
Now as Mr. Mueller extends his inquiry with a subpoena to the Trump Organization evidently in search of business ties with Russia, the president appears to be losing his patience. While his lawyers had reassured him that the investigation would wrap up by Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then early in the new year, it seems increasingly clear that Mr. Mueller is not about to conclude his inquiry any time soon.