President Trump is rejecting a Washington Post report as nonsense he has taken extraordinary steps to cover up the details of meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump and Putin have met formally and informally on five occasions over the last two years. The world leaders last met for a summit in Helsinki, Finland in July 2018.
According to the story appearing in the newspaper’s Sunday edition, unnamed sources say in several meetings held between the two men Trump either took notes himself, or on one occasion, during a meeting with Mr. Putin in Hamburg in 2017, seized notes taken by an interpreter.
Although the story cites former U.S. officials who have expressed dismay at what they find is an effort to suppress access to the specifics of conversations with the Russian leader, Trump blasted the story during a phone interview with Fox News.
Addressing the story on Justice with Judge Jeanine, Trump told host Jeanine Pirro:
“I’m not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn’t care less. I mean, it’s so ridiculous. These people make it up. I have many one-on-one [meetings], nobody ever says anything about it, but with Putin they say, ‘Oh what did they talk about?'”
Mr. Trump followed his remarks, adding the conversations were the normal conduct of foreign policy. Trump later dismissed a Pirro question over whether he had ever been in the employ of Russia as “insulting.”
Despite Trump brushing aside criticism of his meetings with Mr. Putin, House Democrats in control of intelligence and foreign relations committees were not amused.
New York Democrat Eliot Engel, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, vowed to establish a subcommittee to look into Trump’s meetings with Putin.
Similarly, California Democrat and chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has expressed an interest in probing Trump’s meetings with Putin, saying he would use the power of subpoena to learn more about the conversations in-question.
[AP via WiscNews] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy JimHeath.tv]