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Trump: That's 'Most Insulting Thing' I've Ever Been Asked

Blasts idea he's worked for Russia, along with 'Post' report that he concealed details of Putin meetings
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2019 6:30 AM CST
In this July 16, 2018, photo Russian President Vladimir Putin looks over toward President Trump as Trump speaks during their joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)

(Newser) – 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. The reason: Trump has taken unusual steps to keep their conversations under wraps, according to the newspaper. The big move: He reportedly took the notes of his interpreter after meeting with Putin in Helsinki and ordered the linguist not to tell other White House officials what transpired. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was present at this particular meeting, though he has not elaborated beyond a brief readout. The secrecy “is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous,” says Strobe Talbot, former deputy secretary of state under Bill Clinton. But the White House, and Trump himself, disagree.

“Anyone could have listened to that meeting," Trump told Jeanine Pirro of Fox News, who asked him about the Post report in an interview. "That meeting is open for grabs," he said, adding that he'd have no problem releasing details of the Putin talks. Pirro also asked the president about Saturday's New York Times report that the FBI opened an investigation into whether Trump was working on behalf of Russia after he fired the FBI's James Comey. When the Fox interviewer asked him whether he had ever worked for Moscow, Trump responded: “I think it’s the most insulting thing I have ever been asked. I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written and if you read the article you see that they found absolutely nothing.” On Saturday, Trump unleashed a series of tweets blasting the Times article, calling Comey a "total sleaze" and the report itself "absurd," per NBC News. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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