Another controversy is embroiling the White House. This time, it ties back to President Donald Trump's magnified relationship with his Russian counterpart.

This weekend, Vladimir Putin won the race to be Russia's next president - again. The election was fraught with allegations of misconduct, ballot stuffing, and other significant problems. Many believe Putin would've won regardless, but this wasn't fair and square. Now, many are expressing their belief that President Trump shouldn't have given the Russian president a congratulatory call.

Placing the call to Putin

President Trump dialed his Russian counterpart on Tuesday morning. According to the Washington Post, the president congratulated his friend/foe on an election victory. Leaked information suggests that this came in direct opposition to some of the president's highest advisors, who fiercely advocated against him congratulating Putin on his victory.

President Trump was reportedly furious later in the day because the advisement he refused to agree to leaked to the media. He demanded to know who leaked the information. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since news outlets earlier reported about the president's attempt to stem leaks from the White House by making officials sign nondisclosure agreements.

The complimentary call to Putin, however, is the biggest issue in this story.

An error from the White House

Calling Putin in the first place was a mistake, especially so soon after the election. There was enough controversy surrounding the election to determine it wasn't a truly democratic exercise. The United States isn't historically in the business of congratulating people who could be considered dictators or authoritarians; Vladimir Putin certainly fits in that category at this point.

Beyond that fact, the optics are bad for the White House. The Russia probe is still swirling around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There are already plenty of people who think the Russians may have helped elect Donald Trump through interfering means. Now, it almost appears as if the two world leaders are in cahoots, giggling over the phone about their shared election victories.

Odds are, President Trump won't learn from this mistake and won't stop lashing out at the media coverage of him. We've learned that much over the first 14 months of his presidency. Whether there will be consequences for this remains to be seen.

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