Trump Told Putin 'I'll Win' If Russia Starts Arms Race: Sources - NBC Chicago
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Trump Told Putin 'I'll Win' If Russia Starts Arms Race: Sources

"It is not something he wants to talk about," one White House official said

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    Trump Told Putin 'I'll Win' If Russia Starts Arms Race: Sources
    Evan Vucci/AP, File
    In this file photo taken on July 7, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

    President Donald Trump's national security advisers spent months trying to convince him to sign off on a plan to supply new U.S. weapons to Ukraine to aid in the country's fight against Russian-backed separatists, multiple senior administration officials told NBC News.

    Yet when the president finally authorized the major policy shift, he told his aides not to publicly tout his decision, officials said. Doing so, Trump argued, might agitate Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the officials.

    "He doesn't want us to bring it up," one White House official said. "It is not something he wants to talk about."

    Officials said the increasingly puzzling divide between Trump's policy decisions and public posture on Russia stems from his continued hope for warmer relations with Putin and stubborn refusal to be seen as appeasing the media or critics who question his silence or kind words for the Russian leader. Critics have suggested Trump's soft approach to Putin has nefarious roots that are somehow entwined with Russia's interference in the 2016 election and the federal investigation into whether the president's campaign colluded in that effort, something the president has repeatedly denied.

    White House Says There Are No Discussions of Pardons

    [NATL] White House Says There Are No Discussions of Pardons

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in the press briefing that President Donald Trump is not discussing pardons for Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates in the Russian investigation.

    (Published Wednesday, March 28, 2018)