US President Donald Trump has congratulated Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on his inauguration for another six-year term, the White House said. "The president congratulates him and looks forward to a time when we can hopefully have a good relationship with Russia. However, the United States believes that everyone has a right to be heard and assemble peacefully," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference yesterday. She reiterated that Democrats were using the Russia investigation as an excuse for losing the 2016 election. "I think he thinks that the idea that this narrative continues to be driven. The fact that, a year-and-a-half later, after spending most all of your time, every single day, looking into this and still finding nothing, the fact that we're still talking about it and has the potential to impact the 2018 election," Sanders said. "The point he's making is how ridiculous it is that we're still having this conversation and the depths to which this research has gone on and investigation has been conducted and still produced nothing," she added.