Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called out President Donald Trump on Friday for not pressing Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s interference in U.S. elections during their hour-long telephone call.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after his conversation with his Russian counterpart that “we didn’t discuss that, really we didn’t discuss it.”
Schumer asked on Twitter if Trump and Putin had just spent their time gossiping “about Fox News conspiracy theories?”
Trump is an avid viewer of the widely watched conservative cable news network, whose primetime hosts routinely stump for the president.
“Trump’s priorities are appalling and undermine democracy,” Schumer added.
Trump had earlier called NBC News’ White House correspondent Kristen Welker “very rude” after she asked the president if he had told Putin “not to meddle in the next election.”
Trump and Putin did talk about North Korean denuclearization, the political situation and unrest in Venezuela and the chance of a new nuclear accord between America, Russia and China, according to the White House.
Trump tweeted that they’d talked about what he described as the “Russian Hoax.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was in the context that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump campaign collusion had concluded.
Trump faced similar backlash in July 2018 when he refused to condemn Putin over Russia’s election meddling during their summit in Helsinki, Finland.