However, the comments came a day after Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his re-election to the Russian presidency, drawing criticism for failing to condemn the poisoning or even mention the scandal. "If you don't like the guy, quit!" said Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
Trump defended himself on Twitter, saying "Getting along with Russian Federation (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing", and that Russian Federation can help the USA with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, the Islamic State, Iran and to prevent a looming arms race. "This shows that Trump continues to believe that he can make a "deal" with Putin and is unconstrained by his advisers who have been arguing for restraint and caution".
The Sunday election came amid accusations that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent poisoning this month of a former Russian double agent in Britain, and that its internet trolls had waged an extensive campaign to undermine the 2016 US presidential election.
There was no such sentiment from Trump himself, with the president instead suggesting his warm relationship with Putin could reset relations.
It was not clear if President Trump, who prefers to hear briefings, read the notes provided to him, according to sources.
Putin stressed that the strong civic activity and consolidation that the Russians showed during the presidential election on March 18 were extremely important in the face of internal and external challenges that Russia now faces.
Why? During the campaign, Mr Trump praised Vladimir Putin and compared him favourably to Barack Obama. According to accounts from the White House and the Kremlin, Trump did not do that either.
With regard to the "coming arms race", Vox reported that Trump is probably trying to turn Putin from "a foe to a friend" after the Russian president boasted of having nuclear weapons more advanced than what the United States and other countries have right now. "If you don't like President resign, but this ongoing pattern of duplicity holds potential for serious damage to the nation", he said on Twitter. Trump did discuss the attack against Sergei Skripal Wednesday in a call with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told CNN, "I wouldn't have a conversation with a criminal".
One senior US official attributed Trump's resistance to guidance that he should distance himself from Putin to the president's belief that he should not have to forfeit his pursuit of better relations with Moscow to a Russian Federation investigation at home that he thinks is illegitimate. "Our unity, responsibility, common understanding of goals, aspirations of millions of people - we must contribute all that to the development of Russian Federation, to a powerful movement forward", Putin said. Sanders insisted that the administration has scolded Putin at the appropriate times.
First, critics pounced on the president for congratulating the authoritarian Putin for winning a rigged election.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also congratulated Putin this week.
The document had been accessible only to a select group of staffers, two officials said, and had been drafted by aides to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.