On January 27, 2017, weeks after winning the presidency, Trump had his first official visit from a foreign leader at the White House, with British Prime Minister Theresa May. During lunch, May asked Trump if he had talked to Putin, according to Bergen.
“No, I haven’t,” Trump replied.
Flynn, a former three-star US Army general, was nearby and leaned in to tell Trump: “Sir, we’re arranging that call now. President Putin called several days ago, but we haven’t been able to get it on your calendar yet.”
Trump, upset by the response, lambasted Flynn.
“Are you kidding me? Vladimir Putin tried to call me, and you didn’t put him through? What the hell were you thinking?” Trump said.
“Well, sir, you know, you have a lot of calls coming in, and we’re trying to manage who you talk to,” Flynn responded.
Trump called Putin “the only man on earth who can destroy us” and later questioned his staff’s decision to hold off on the phone call.
“What kind of bulls— is this? How is it possible that Putin calls me and you don’t put the call through? I don’t know what you guys are doing,” Trump privately told his senior staff members.