Vladimir Putin reportedly called Donald Trump to thank him for a tip from the CIA. But it strains credulity to think that the timing of the chummy call was mere coincidence.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is zeroing in ever closer on Donald Trump’s inner circle, and on Trump himself, in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible collusion of the Trump campaign.

Trump and his team continue to desperately insist that they did nothing wrong, and that Trump is not even under investigation.

That was already literally unbelievable. And the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin just called Trump to reportedly offer his thanks for a tip from the CIA makes the protestations of guiltlessness even less credible.

It’s not the first time that the American people learned about Trump’s interactions with Putin through the Kremlin before we heard about it from our own government. Once again, the White House played catch-up, as press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the call took place:

The White House’s readout of the call appears to confirm the Kremlin’s account. And perhaps Putin really did just want to thank Trump for this CIA tip. But the timing of such a friendly call is highly suspect.

Putin is the dictatorial head of a foreign adversary that attacked our democracy, and Trump is the ostensible head of that democracy whose election was aided by that interference.

For the two men to chat on the phone while an investigation is ramping up nearly every day is impossible to see as a mere coincidence — especially considering this is at least the fourth time they have spoken on the phone over the past four weeks.

Trump and Putin both seem to have the utmost confidence in their ability to mislead the public. But the public isn’t buying the spin, and watching the two men buddy up to each other as the FBI takes aim at their potential collusion won’t make it any more palatable.

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