President Trump just took to Twitter and tried to hit back on reports that he had a ‘secret meeting’ with Putin.
First, before we get to his comment, let’s mention the fact that the White House previously did not disclose this one-hour meeting until it was leaked to the press. Secondly, the White House confirmed the meeting did, in fact, take place with no staff, or translators present.
Now, let’s get to Trump’s outburst: he’s blaming ‘Fake News’ for reporting on it, and insinuating that is was dishonest of the media for getting its panties in a wad about the meeting. He states: ‘All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited’ and that the ‘press knew!’
Let’s address that: no one else was at the meeting, it was just them. Also, world leaders even came out and talked about how ‘odd’ it was for Putin and Trump to be acting the way they were.
From the New York Times:
“But, the intimate dinner conversation, of which there is no official United States government record is the latest to raise eyebrows. Foreign leaders who witnessed it later commented privately on the oddity of an American president flaunting such a close rapport with his Russian counterpart.”
“Pretty much everyone at the dinner thought this was really weird, that here is the president of the United States, who clearly wants to display that he has a better relationship personally with President Putin than any of us, or simply doesn’t care,” said Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a New York-based research and consulting firm, who said he had heard directly from attendees. “They were flummoxed, they were confused and they were startled.”
So, to recap: not only did several world leading figures refuse to side with Trump’s own accounting of the meeting but the press was not there. So, how could they have ‘known’ as Trump puts it?
There is still no record of the meeting, and as Steven Pifer, a former ambassador to Ukraine who also specializes in Russia points out in the Times article, “we’re all going to be wondering what was said, and that’s where it’s unfortunate that there was no U.S. interpreter, because there is no independent American account of what happened.”
“If I was in the Kremlin, my recommendation to Putin would be, ‘See if you can get this guy alone,’ and that’s what it sounds like he was able to do,” added Mr. Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.