Trump concealed details of Putin meeting

13 January, 2019, 15:38 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Protesters rally before Trump and Putin's Helsinki meeting

Trump has gone to what the Post described as "extraordinary lengths" to keep the specifics of his conversations with his Russian counterpart under wraps.

In one instance, following a meeting with Putin in Hamburg in 2017, Trump took personal possession of notes from an interpreter and directed a linguist - who was there to help translate the conversation - not to discuss details from the meeting with anyone, including senior-level administration officials.

The US President has been accused of going to extraordinary lengths to hide details of his meetings with his Russian counterpart, including on at least one occasion seizing the notes of his own interpreter. That, according to the Post, was when USA officials became aware of Trump's efforts.

Such standard reactions from Trump "do nothing to address the incredibly serious nature of these allegations", said Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Tillerson has previously discussed the Hamburg meeting, telling reporters at a news conference that Trump "pressed" Putin on allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 USA presidential election, which Putin denied. "We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things", he went on, adding that his one-on-one meetings with Putin were just the same as with any other leader.

Mr Trump rejected the Times piece in a late Saturday night interview on Fox News as "the most insulting article I've ever had written" and lashed out at Comey and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in half a dozen tweets.

'Think of it, I had a one-on-one meeting with Putin, like I do with every other leader. "The Washington Post that's basically lobbyists for Amazon", Trump said in an interview with Fox News. "I do it with all countries".

In the past USA presidents have made great effort to have their meetings with Russian leaders well documented, to allow top diplomats and security officials to study what was said and possible implications. I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less.

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"Well Jeanine I would, I don't care".

"Over time it got harder and harder, I think, because of a sense from Trump himself that the leaks of the call transcripts were harmful to him", said a former administration official.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called the Times report "absurd" and said Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack".

'I can tell you this, if you ask the folks in Russian Federation, I've been tougher on Russian Federation than anybody else, ' Trump said.

At the same time that the FBI opened a probe into Trump for possible obstruction of justice after he fired FBI Director James Comey, counterintelligence agents were investigating why Trump was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russian Federation, a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday.

"The Washington Post story is so outrageously inaccurate it doesn't even warrant a response". The new details about Trump's continued secrecy underscore the extent to which little is known about his communications with Putin since becoming president. There was a translator so I'm sure she took notes down simultaneously in order to translate.

The Post's report comes as special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election - and whether there were any ties between the Kremlin and Trump campaign associates.

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