The Washington Post reports:
President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion 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.
Of course, there is more.
NEW: After closed door mtg with Putin, Trump took his interpreter’s notes, told linguist not to reveal what had transpired to other administration officials. Pattern of concealing communications with Putin. https://t.co/8hV3EOvPs4
— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) January 12, 2019
I am at a point where nothing surprises me (at least I think I am). But this is just impossible. How is this a sustainable reality for a President of the United States. https://t.co/KV70ZhU4iJ
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) January 13, 2019
“We were frustrated because we didn’t get a readout,” a former senior admin official said. “The State Department & NSC were never comfortable” with Trump’s interactions with Putin. “God only knows what they were going to talk about or agree to.” https://t.co/xrn8AVw1Kf
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 12, 2019
Trump is so desperate to conceal the contents of his conversations with Putin that he SEIZED NOTES FROM HIS OWN INTERPRETER and instructed the interpreter not to discuss the meeting with other administration official https://t.co/RzECgukFUE
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 12, 2019