In this March 18, 2018 photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to supporters during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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The tempest over U.S. President Donald Trump's congratulatory phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly grew Wednesday into an uproar over White House leaks, sparking an internal investigation and speculation over who might be the next person Trump forces out of the West Wing. The White House said in a statement it would be a "fireable offense and likely illegal" to leak Trump's briefing papers to the press, after word emerged that the president had been warned in briefing materials to refrain from congratulating the Russian president on his re-election. Trump did so anyway during a conversation Tuesday.Trump's call to Putin drew bruising criticism from members of his own party even before the revelation that he was advised against it.The call was the latest indicator of Trump's personal reluctance to publicly criticize Putin.White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's call and noted that then-President Barack Obama made a similar call at the time of Putin's last electoral victory.
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