By Jeff Zeleny, Senior White House Correspondent
(CNN) — White House chief of staff John Kelly is furious about the quick leak of a warning to President Donald Trump to not congratulate Vladimir Putin for his re-election, a White House official said.
Kelly intends to address the matter Wednesday as aides try to figure out who leaked the warning, the official said. The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that Trump congratulated Putin despite warnings from multiple national security advisers and briefing materials that said “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.”
“This is unacceptable,” the official said, speaking about the leak that some believe was an attempt to embarrass the President and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who was there for the call.
The official described anger and disappointment in the West Wing over the leak. The White House declined to officially comment on the matter, with an official adding that they “cannot comment on alleged classified deliberative documents allegedly provided to the President.”
A White House official didn’t dispute to CNN Tuesday the language on the notes provided by members of Trump’s National Security Council, but said Trump didn’t read or see the notecard. The official added that Trump often disregards advice in calls with foreign leaders.
Trump’s comments drew significant criticism among U.S. politicians, including by Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, a noted Russia hawk, who said “an American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.”
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