In a March 21 interview with Catholic News Service, Mgr Kovalevsky said Russian Catholics would not "draw political conclusions" from the election, which Putin won with more than three-quarters of votes on a 67 percent turnout.
The phone call between the two leaders coming on the same day 23 Russian diplomas boarded a flight from London to Moscow, expelled from the United Kingdom after Russia apparently used nerve gas to poison a former spy and his daughter on British soil.
Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that a hunt for the leaker was underway.
Also facing mounting domestic pressure over his unwillingness to confront Putin, the White House said Wednesday Trump agreed in a call with French President Emmanuel Macron "on the need to take action to hold Russian Federation accountable" over the attack.
"If this story is accurate", an anonymous USA official told CNN, "that means someone leaked the president's briefing papers". Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly are both angry over the disclosure, officials said, especially because of the small circle of distribution.
The source says only a few people would have known about that guidance and the leak reinforces Trump's idea that some staffers want to undermine him. Five other candidates garnered substantially fewer votes. It was not clear whether this week's document was classified, but it was included with other classified papers.
In his briefing papers to prepare for the phone call with Putin, Trump was warned "do not congratulate" him, according to a report by The Washington Post.
US President Donald Trump stridently defended his much-criticized overtures to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin Wednesday, as White House anxiety over his embrace spilled into full public view.
The leak further cast doubt on McMaster's longevity in the top foreign policy post. "I wouldn't have a conversation with a criminal".
Why? During the campaign, Mr Trump praised Vladimir Putin and compared him favourably to Barack Obama.
The White House had said Monday that it was "not surprised by the outcome" of Sunday's presidential election in Russian Federation and that no congratulatory call was planned. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that the Russian state media's extensive coverage of Putin's activities gave him a significant advantage in the race. Obama and Clinton tried, but didn't have the energy or chemistry (remember RESET). "If you don't like the guy, quit!" said Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
"No one was planning on a meeting with Putin at this point, given all the questions about continuing Russian interference in our elections and the ongoing Mueller probe, never mind the. poisoning" of a former Russian double-agent this month in Britain, said Angela Stent, a former national intelligence officer with a focus on Russia in the administration of President George W. Bush.