Trump actively concealed details of his meetings with Putin

13 January, 2019, 17:11 | Author: Carlos George
  • President Donald Trump listens as he leads a roundtable discussion on border security with local leaders Friday Jan. 11 2019 in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington

In an interview with Fox News, US President Donald Trump said he had never tried to hide anything about his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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 Trump administration rejected the report, saying Tillerson in 2017 "gave a fulsome readout of the meeting immediately afterwards to other United States officials in a private setting, as well as a readout to the press".

The president's secrecy "is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous", Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state under Bill Clinton.

The Post claims that Trump confiscated his translator's notes after he and Putin first met in person on July 7, 2017 on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg.

In the same interview with Pirro, Trump referred to the Times' article as "the most insulting article I've ever had written [about me]".

Asked by Pirro if he'd ever worked on behalf of Russia, Trump did not directly answer the question.

He compared his conversations with Putin to what "every president does - you sit with the president of various countries".

But though Tillerson had declined during the news conference to say whether Trump had accepted or rejected Putin's denial, Trump administration officials said the only detail the interpreter would give them was that Trump responded by telling Putin, "I believe you".

However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation grew concerned that Trump was acting on behalf of Russian interests by firing Comey, the report claims.

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Trump blasted the FBI on Twitter, insisting it acted "for no reason & with no proof" when it opened the investigation.

The Times reported that FBI agents and some top officials became suspicious of Trump's ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign but didn't launch an investigation at that time because they weren't sure how to approach such a sensitive and important probe, according to the unnamed officials.

Before ending the segment, Vinograd offered that the report likely drew the attention of special counsel Mueller who is looking into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

But Trump's behaviour in the days around Comey's May 2017 firing as FBI director, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey's removal to the Russian Federation investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the newspaper.

Trump dismissed the notion in Saturday's interview, but without ever directly denying that he was working as a secret agent for Russian Federation.

"Everyone knows there was no collusion [with Russia]", Trump added.

Cohen will testify publicly before a House committee next month.

Trump's ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his Moscow ties.

Mueller has indicted 33 people, including members of Russia's GRU military intelligence, and chalked up convictions against some of the president's close associates.

Trump's former presidential campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been convicted in one case brought by Mueller and pleaded guilty in another, over financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine before the 2016 campaign, and for witness tampering.

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