Trump mocks fresh scru­tiny of con­ver­sa­tions with Putin

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON: US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump faced un­com­fort­able new ques­tions on Sun­day about his re­la­tion­ship with Vladimir Putin de­spite his an­gry dis­missal of a re­port that he has kept top aides in the dark about his pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions with the Rus­sian leader. Repub­li­can law­mak­ers gen­er­ally de­fended the pres­i­dent, say­ing he had been tougher on Rus­sia than his Demo­cratic pre­de­ces­sor Barack Obama, but some had ques­tions. “I want to find out a lit­tle bit more about what hap­pened there,” said Se­na­tor Ted Cruz, on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I want to learn more than just the al­le­ga­tions in the press.” But he said most Amer­i­cans out­side of Wash­ing­ton were not in­ter­ested in the sub­ject. The Post re­ported that Mr Trump has gone to un­usual lengths to keep his pri­vate talks with Mr Putin se­cret, with­hold­ing de­tails from se­nior of­fi­cials and at one point even tak­ing away his own in­ter­preter’s notes. That ac­count fol­lowed an­other in The New York Times that the FBI be­came so alarmed after Mr Trump fired direc­tor James Comey in May 2017 that it opened a coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether he was act­ing on Rus­sia’s be­half.” Mr Trump, asked in an in­ter­view with Fox News late on Sat­ur­day, “Are you now or have you ever worked for Rus­sia,” re­sponded: “I think that’s the most in­sult­ing thing I’ve ever been asked.” “I’m not keep­ing any­thing un­der wraps, I couldn’t care less. I mean, it’s so ridicu­lous,” he told Fox News host Jea­nine Pirro, without di­rectly deny­ing the Post story. Democrats weren’t con­vinced. “You know, there’s so many ques­tions raised,” said Se­na­tor Dick Durbin, a top Demo­crat, on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Why is he so chummy with Vladimir Putin, this man who is a for­mer KGB agent, never been a friend to the United States, in­vaded our al­lies, threat­ens us around the world, and tries his damn­d­est to un­der­mine our elec­tions, why is this Pres­i­dent Trump’s best buddy? I don’t get it.”

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