John McCain criticized Donald Trump for congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection.
"An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections," the GOP senator said.
Russia held presidential elections over the weekend, but there have been reports of ballot-stuffing.
Trump earlier Tuesday said he “had a very good call” with Putin and announced the two leaders agreed to meet in the “not-too-distant future” to talk about the nuclear arms race, North Korea and Syria.
Republican Sen. John McCain on Tuesday criticized US President Donald Trump for congratulating Vladimir Putin on being reelected as president of Russia.
"An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections," the veteran GOP senator from Arizona John McCain said in a statement.
McCain, the Armed Services Committee chairman, also says that by doing so Trump has "insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future."
McCain has previously called Putin a murderer and a thug. He's also pressed the Trump administration to respond aggressively to Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump, whose campaign's ties to Russia are under scrutiny by the special counsel Robert Mueller and separate congressional investigations, also plans to meet again with Putin, The Washington Post reports.An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election. https://t.co/lcQTBi7CA1— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2018
But congratulations like those offered by Trump to Putin are not unprecedented. President Barack Obama previously congratulated Putin on reelection in 2012.