TRUMP CON­CEALED DE­TAILS OF EN­COUN­TERS WITH PUTIN

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - TOP STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD - -BY GREG MILLER (C)2019,THE WASH­ING­TON POST JAN 13,2019

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has gone to ex­tra­or­di­nary lengths to con­ceal de­tails of his con­ver­sa­tions with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, in­clud­ing 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 U.S. of­fi­cials said.

Trump did so after a meet­ing with Putin in 2017 in Ham­burg that was also at­tended by then-sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son. U.S. of­fi­cials learned of Trump’s ac­tions when a White House ad­viser and a se­nior State Depart­ment of­fi­cial sought in­for­ma­tion from the in­ter­preter be­yond a read­out shared by Tiller­son.

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. As a re­sult, U.S. of­fi­cials said there is no de­tailed record, even in clas­si­fied files, of Trump’s face-to-face in­ter­ac­tions with the Rus­sian leader at five lo­ca­tions over the past two years.

After this story was pub­lished on­line, Trump said in an in­ter­view late Satur­day with Fox News host Jea­nine Pirro that he did not take par­tic­u­lar steps to con­ceal his pri­vate meet­ings with Putin. When Pirro asked if he is or has ever been work­ing for Rus­sia, Trump re­sponded, “I think it’s the most in­sult­ing thing I’ve ever been asked.”

(BLOOMBERG/CHRIS RATCLIFFE)

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has now met with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin five times.

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