Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Trump rejects report that he hid details of Putin meetings

Trump Repeatedly Took ‘Extraordinary’ Measures to Hide Details of Face-to-Face Meetings With Putin: Report US President Donald Trump has concealed details of his meetings with Russia's Vladimir Putin
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2019, 15:41

The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States' main adversaries.

US officials say there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump's meetings with Putin at five locations over the past two years, according to the Post.

Trump's efforts to hide the talks was revealed after administration officials tried to get information about the conversation - beyond what was provided by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - from the interpreter.

President Donald Trump has blasted the notion that he is a secret agent for Russian Federation, following a report that the FBI had investigated that possibility in 2017.

Commenting on the report, the USA president said: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps".

There are no detailed records of five personal meetings President Donald Trump has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing U.S. officials. I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less.

The spokesman talked to the Post on the condition of anonymity and said that following the 2017 Hamburg meeting that included Tillerson, the former secretary of state "gave a fulsome readout of the meeting immediately afterward to other USA officials in a private setting, as well as a readout to the press".

He added: "Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs".

He did not elaborate on how anyone could obtain details of the meeting.

When asked by Pirro on Saturday about the Times' report and whether he had ever worked for Russia, Trump said, "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked".

Trump responded: "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked.the most insulting article I've ever had written & if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing".

Trump has made a number of decisions during his time as president that have benefitted Putin whilst simultaneously confounding his closest officials and advisors. The overall investigation is looking into Russian election interference and whether Trump's campaign coordinated with the Russians, as well as possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

The legislation was signed reluctantly by Trump, who wanted warmer ties with Moscow and had opposed the legislation as it worked its way through Congress.

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up", Trump said, claiming the Post is a "lobbyist" for Bezos' interests.

"There is no reason to doubt the seriousness or professionalism of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as the president did in reaction to this story", Mr Nadler, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.

The FBI had been suspicious of Trump's ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign, but it held off on opening a probe until the president sacked Comey, who refused to roll back the Russian Federation investigation, the Times said.

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.

His former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance and fraud crimes while his campaign chief Paul Manafort was convicted of financial fraud.