Donald Trump’s reluctance to provide unfettered access to his conversations with Vladimir Putin has upset nameless American officials, the Washington Post has revealed. The US president dismissed the story as absurd and offensive.
According to the revered paper, Trump has “gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details” of his face-to-face conversations with Putin. During a meeting with the Russian leader in Hamburg in 2017, Trump even purportedly confiscated the notes of his own interpreter, who was then instructed not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.
Various (and of course nameless) US officials have now apparently complained to the Washington Post about how they’ve been left in the dark about five conversations that Trump had with the Russian leader, colorfully described by the newspaper as “one of the United States’ main adversaries.”
The story’s thinly veiled assumption is of course that Donald Trump has used his handful of private meetings with Putin to receive secret instructions from Moscow – impose new sanctions on Russia, bomb Syria, send lethal weapons to Ukraine, shred the Iran deal and missile treaties, and so forth.
The creatively framed story suffers from a few other inconvenient plot holes. The super-secret meeting with Putin in Hamburg was also attended by then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Does this mean that Tillerson is also a deep-cover KGB agent? Tillerson even released a readout after the meeting – following completely standard, but apparently unsatisfactory protocol.
As we yell “Treason” & speculate over whether Putin issued orders or manipulated Trump during their meeting, this detail seems important: Tillerson “was present for the entirety” of it. Maybe the now fired ex-Sec of State is in on the treason?
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) January 13, 2019
The self-contradictory report goes on to explain how, as part of Trump’s obsession with ultra-secret Putin pow-wows, the president “generally has allowed aides to listen to his phone conversations” with the Russian leader.
Trump “allies” interviewed by the Post said that the president’s caution when it comes to meeting with Putin may be “driven by embarrassing leaks that occurred early in his presidency.” This theory is of course way less fun than the airtight idea that Trump is actually a Russian agent – that’s why WaPo only gave it one sentence.
Responding to the report, Trump told Fox News that there was nothing scandalous about his talks with the Russian leader. When Fox News host Jeanine Pirro asked if he is or has ever been working on behalf of the Kremlin, Trump responded: “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked.” Among hardcore Russiagaters, his answer was naturally interpreted as an explosive non-denial.
Credit to Jeannine Pirro for asking Trump if he’s a Russian Agent. The President, notably, never actually answered that question.
— Colby Hall (@colbyhall) January 13, 2019
“Credit to Jeannine Pirro for asking Trump if he’s a Russian Agent. The President, notably, never actually answered that question,” Colby Hall, founding editor of Mediaite, tweeted.
Rehashing months-old Russiagate news, the Washington Post also disclosed that Democratic lawmakers are still demanding details about Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki last summer. House Democrats reportedly plan to form a subcommittee which aims to obtain State Department records of Trump’s various encounters with the Russian president.
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