President Donald Trump's national-security advisers reportedly gave him two sets of instructions on Tuesday: "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election victory, and condemn Russia for the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the UK.
"The leaders spoke in favor of developing practical cooperation in different spheres, including on questions of how to ensure strategic stability and fight global terrorism", the Kremlin said in a statement.
Understandably, the USA reactions, especially from the White House, have been less than effusive since Donald Trump is yet to scrub himself clean of the Russian influence in the Presidential polls.
Mr Trump's call with Mr Putin came less than a week after the U.S. issued financial sanctions against a St Petersburg-based "troll farm" and Russian intelligence services that are alleged to have meddled in the 2016 election on the President's behalf.
The White House later said there were no specific plans for a meeting.
Sanders declined to pass judgment on those elections Monday.
Trump said he also wants to discuss Ukraine, North Korea and Syria with the Russian leader.
"We don't get to dictate how other countries operate", Sanders said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talked around the issue.
"On the whole, the conversation was constructive and business-like", the Kremlin said, adding its goal was to help the two countries "overcome the problems that had accumulated in the Russian-US relations".
But shortly afterwards, the president confirmed that a phone call had been made. Before the election even began, the impartiality of the results was compromised. "I'm always reminded of the election they used to have in nearly every communist country where whoever the dictator was at the moment always got huge percentage of the vote".
Trump's overture to Putin was criticized by top senators in his own Republican Party, who called Sunday's election a sham.
French President Emmanuel Macron wished Mr Putin success in "modernising Russia", but urged Moscow to shed light on the "unacceptable" attempted assassination of an ex-spy in Britain. "Europe is looking to us for leadership on Russian Federation in particular and they're not getting it".
Apart from that, the two leaders "expressed satisfaction over the reduction of tension around the Korean Peninsula and stressed the necessity to continue consistent efforts to resolve the situation by peaceful, diplomatic means", wrote TASS.
"Everyone is trying to figure out what does this mean", Wright said. "The fact that there hasn't been a stronger sanctions response to the poisoning so far is policy".
In 2012, President Barack Obama also congratulated Putin on his election victory.
"I think it's great. We understand each other", Trump said.