Trump rejects report that he hid details of Putin meetings
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 US government officials.
Mr Trump, in a telephone interview late Saturday with Fox News, dismissed as “ridiculous” the Post story that alleged he went to great lengths to hide the content of his talks with Mr Putin, even confiscating the notes of his interpreter and ordering that person to not discuss what was said.
Mr Trump said he had “a great conversation” with Mr Putin in Helsinki in July 2018.
When asked why not release details of the nearly two- hour conversation, Mr Trump said: “I would, I don’t with care.
“I mean, I had a conversation like every President does. You sit with the President of various countries... We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things ... I’m not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn’t care less. I mean, it’s so ridiculous.” He added: “Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs.” According to the Post there is no detailed record of Mr Trump’s personal talks with Mr Putin at five locations over the past two years.
The newspaper quotes unnamed current and former government officials as sources for the story.
Washington, Jan. 13: US President Donald Trump blasted the FBI on Saturday, insisting it acted “for no reason & with no proof” when it opened an investigation into whether he was acting on Russia’s behalf after he fired the agency’s director, James Comey, in May 2017.
The New York Times reported that the FBI launched the previously undisclosed counterintelligence investigation to determine if Trump posed a national security threat.
“Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!” Trump tweeted.
According to Trump, “the FBI was in complete turmoil... because of Comey’s poor leadership” and the way he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send some government emails.
“My firing of James Comey was a great day for America,” Trump said, describing the former FBI director as “a Crooked Cop who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller.”
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.
“There is no reason to doubt the seriousness or professionalism of the FBI,” Nadler said in a statement which said his committee “will take steps to better understand both the president’s actions and the FBI’s response to that behavior, and to make certain that these career investigators are protected from President Trump’s increasingly unhinged attacks.” The Times said that the FBI had been suspicious of Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign.
But it held off on opening an investigation until the president sacked Comey, who refused to pledge allegiance to Trump and roll back the nascent Russia investigation.
Trump has repeatedly criticized the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” and views it as an attempt to besmirch the legitimacy of his presidency.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was CIA director at the time the investigation was launched, declined to comment on The New York Times report, but insisted in an interview with CBS that “the notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous.” 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.