Trump denies hiding detail of Putin summit talks from staff

Trump denies hiding detail of Putin summit talks from staff

Trump denies hiding detail of Putin summit talks from staff

President Donald Trump has rejected a Washington Post report that he has refused to share details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin with top USA government officials.

Rather than call the Times report "fake news", as he has with so many other anonymously sourced Times reports, Trump used it to again claim that he was justified in getting rid of Comey.

Robert Mueller has spent 20 months investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election, and possible collusion between the Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Trump said the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director failed to properly investigate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for government business. The new details about Trump's continued secrecy underscore the extent to which little is known about his communications with Putin since becoming president.

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".

The Post reported that, while the American interpreter in the room during the Hamburg meeting "refused" to discuss it with other administration officials, the interpreter did say that Trump responded "I believe you" after Putin denied any Russian involvement in the USA election.

The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), told the Post "it's been several months since" Trump's closed-door meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, "and we still don't know what went on in that meeting".

That occurred after the President's 2017 meeting in Hamburg with Putin, which the Post noted was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The reports, and Trump's harsh criticisms of them, come as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues.

Trump has also repeatedly and vociferously denied collusion with the Russians. They cited Comey's handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, a controversy that many believe helped Trump defeat the Democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential election. "That meeting is open for grabs".

At the same time that the FBI opened a probe into Trump for possible obstruction of justice after he fired FBI Director James Comey, counterintelligence agents were investigating why Trump was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russian Federation, a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday. But Trump's behavior in the days around Comey's May 2017 firing as FBI director, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey's ousting to the Russian Federation investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the newspaper.

The first question to ask yourself when absorbing this story is, what does it mean for a president to be working for Russian Federation, and against the United States?

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.

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.

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