The report about Trump's meetings with Putin follows a Friday report from The New York Times that the F.B.I. opened an investigation into whether or not Trump was acting on Russia's behalf after Trump fired former F.B.I. director James Comey in 2017.
President Trump has met with Vladimir Putin face-to-face five times so far, but even high-ranking members of his own administration are unsure exactly what they said to each other, reports the Washington Post. And the investigation was whether you were actively working for Russian Federation or unwittingly.
The Post reported that Trump has gone to "extraordinary lengths" to hide details of his conversations with 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.
"Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"Jeanine Pirro of Fox News asked him in an interview Saturday".
"When he takes the interpreter's notes and wants to destroy them so no one can see what was said.it raises serious questions about the relationship between this president and Putin", the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin, said on ABC's "This Week".
"I do think it's curious that throughout that whole summer when these investigations started, you had (Russian President) Vladimir Putin's policies nearly being parroted by Donald Trump", Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said on the CNN "State of the Union" program. Trump has taken unusual steps to keep their conversations under wraps, according to the newspaper.
"I know what was reported publicly in the media", he said. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. According to the newspaper, law enforcement officials were so concerned they began investigating whether the President was working on behalf of Russian Federation against USA interests. The president also hinted that the Russian Federation collusion "hoax" would soon backfire badly on the perpetrators, including some individuals whom he didn't identify because it would make "front page news" if he did. Yet White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the story by The New York Times by saying "This is absurd".
The case was then referred to special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into whether Russian agents interfered with the 2016 election, the Times reported, adding that it is not clear whether the special counsel has continued that part of the investigation.
Trump described the news report as "ridiculous". Presidents obviously have the right to change American foreign policy, and to forge friendships with countries that had been previously hostile. "Anyone could have listened to that meeting".
In the inquiry, counterintelligence investigators sought to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to national security.
"This is just at odds with how presidents have conducted diplomacy for decades and decades In the United States", said Washington Post reporter Greg Miller in a Sunday interview with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
"My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me, and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation", the president said at the time. "I couldn't care less", he said.