A propaganda video released by President Vladimir Putin which touted Russia’s weaponry and its ability to strike the US state of Florida left President Donald Trump enraged, according to a media report.
The video, made for Putin’s recent re-election campaign, promoted Russia’s new generation of nuclear weapons, but a scene allegedly showing missiles raining down on Florida caught Trump’s eye, Axios reported.
Though publically silent, Trump “raged”, telling his aides “he understood this was Putin playing up to the crowds for his election but even so it was ‘over the line’”, Axios quoted a source familiar with Trump’s private comments as saying.
Trump would later lash out at Putin during a phone call on March 20. Axios reported this was the same phone call for which Trump’s advisors gave him briefing materials with instructions not to congratulate Putin for his election win. Trump ignored the advice and congratulated Putin anyway.
The source told Axios that Trump’s criticism of Putin during that phone call was “unprecedented” as his usual conversations with his Russian counterpart were “a bit of a love fest”.
Trump also raised the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May, and they agreed about the “outrageous” nature of the video, the source said.
The White House hasn’t acknowledged this incident, with a National Security Council spokesperson refusing to comment on the Axios report.