Trump concealed details from meetings with Putin

Frederick Owens
January 13, 2019

Speaking to Fox News after the Washington Post story was published, Trump dismissed the notion that he had taken steps to stifle the meetings' contents.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland in July 2018.

US President Donald Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to hide details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former US officials say.

The Post's report comes less than 24 hours after a bombshell New York Times report that revealed President Trump has been the target of a counterintelligence investigation by the FBI, which began nearly immediately after he fired Jim Comey.

He slammed the Times story as "the most insulting article I've ever had written and if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing". I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less.

Trump said he fired Comey because 'he was a awful liar, and he did a bad job as the Federal Bureau of Investigation director'.

What did Mr Trump say about the Putin story?

Trump faced widespread criticism following the Helsinki summit from both Democrats and Republicans, with his performance at a press conference alongside Putin - in which he sided with Moscow over his own government's assertion that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 United States election, and heaped praise on the Russian Federation strongman - roundly condemned by allies and critics alike.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was present at this particular meeting, though he has not elaborated beyond a brief readout.

The New York Times said FBI officials became suspicious of Mr Trump's ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign but held off on opening an investigation until Mr Trump tied his dismissal of Mr Comey to a probe into allegations of election meddling by Russian Federation.

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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 called in to Fox News' Justice with Jeanine to discuss several tropics, including the newspaper's article, which was published on Friday, that revealed the president had been the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in 2017 after James Comey was sacked as director of the federal agency.

Trump added that the Times was a disaster as a newspaper. "That meeting is open for grabs".

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 U.S. officials in a private setting, as well as a readout to the press".

Trump also reiterated that he had been tougher to Russian Federation than any of his predecessors.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.

Mueller has indicted 33 people in the probe and convicted some of the president's close associates.

Cellphone records show that Cohen was near Prague during the summer of 2016, supporting claims that he met there with Russian officials during the presidential election campaign, McClatchy news service has reported.

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

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