Trump congratulates France . . . and Putin for World Cup

As France beat Croatia by 4-2 in the 2018 World Cup final to claim its second ever World Cup, congratulations and accolades poured in from around the world. Predictably, from the man who is never shy about weighing in with his opinions on global matters, U.S. President Donald Trump also offered his congratulations to France, and . . . to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In fairness to Trump, and Putin, the Russia World Cup was a huge success and was relatively free of the controversies and problems many predicted might mar the tournament before it began. But critics have also pointed to the tournament as a huge PR victory for Putin, who has faced criticisms for his seemingly unopposed stranglehold on the seat of power in Russia and for creating a political environment where journalists are imprisoned and the rights of the LGBTQ community are persecuted.

During the tournament’s showpiece final between France and Croatia, the controversial antiauthoritarian punk band, Pussy Riot, staged a pitch invasion in an apparent protest of Putin’s regime.

See AlsoPresident Trump calls media ‘the enemy of the people’

Trump’s congratulations of Putin on Twitter is particularly eye-raising following this week’s indictment by the Robert Mueller investigation of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC during the 2016 election. The U.S. president, who attracted huge protests during his visit to London this week, is scheduled to meet with Putin on Monday in a one-on-one summit that will see the two leaders come together with no one else in the room other than translators.

In the wake of the indictments of the Russian intel officers, Trump is under increasing pressure to cancel the summit with Putin, who as a former intelligence officer himself, is generally assumed to have had knowledge of the Democratic campaign hacks.

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France beats 4-2 Croatia to win World Cup
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France beats 4-2 Croatia to win World Cup
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Didier Deschamps, Manager of France consoles Ngolo Kante of France after his substitution during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: France players celebrate following their sides victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
France's forward Antoine Griezmann plays the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
France's midfielder Paul Pogba (hidden) is is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: VLuka Modric of Croatia looks dejected following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
France's forward Kylian Mbappe controls the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Vedran Corluka and Ivan Rakitic of Croatia look dejected following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A streaker is evacuated during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Vedran Corluka and Ivan Rakitic of Croatia look dejected following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: French players celebrate after winning the World Cup by beating Croatia 4-2 in the final during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: The France players celebrate as the final whistle is blown at the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: French players celebrate a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia final match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Croatia's forward Ivan Perisic (2ndL) is congratulated by teammates after scoring the equaliser during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Antoine Griezmann of France with the french flag after Winning the World Cup beating Croatia 4-2 in the Final during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
People react on the fan zone to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia, on the Champ de Mars in Paris on July 15, 2018. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - France's forward Olivier Giroud (L) vies with Croatia's midfielder Marcelo Brozovic during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)
France's forward Antoine Griezmann scores a penalty during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15, 2018: France's Kylian Mbappe (L) and Croatia's Luka Modric fight for the ball in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final match between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Paul Pogba of France celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia final match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Players of France celebrate after winning the World Cup title following beating Croatia 4-2 in the final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - France's team players celebrate Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic's own goal during their Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
France's forward Antoine Griezmann (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15, 2018: Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (front) reacts at the final match of FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium; France won 4-2. Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Nikolsky\TASS via Getty Images)
Croatian supporters react after their team scored in downtown Zagreb on July 15, 2018, during the 2018 Russia World Cup final football match between Croatia and France, the first final World Cup match ever in the history of Croatia. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP) (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Luka Modric of Croatia looks dejected following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Croatia's goalkeeper Danijel Subasic concedes a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Luka Modric of Croatia is consoled following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
France's players celebrate their fourth goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Croatia's Ivan Perisic reacts after the FIFA World Cup Final at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
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