Trump-Putin summit

WaPo: Trump sought to hide details of conversations with Putin from admin officials

Putin and Trump
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov via Getty Images

President Trump has repeatedly sought to conceal the details of his face-to-face conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin from senior officials in his own administration, the Washington Post's Greg Miller reports.

Details: After meeting with Putin in Germany in 2017, Trump reportedly took notes from his own interpreter and instructed them not to discuss the contents of the conversation with other administration officials. This is just one example of what Miller reports is "a broader pattern" of Trump shielding his communications with Putin from the public as well as senior government officials — a pattern that has resulted in there being "no detailed record" of his face-to-face meetings with the Russian leader at "five locations over the past two years."

Pompeo denies Trump canceled Putin meeting over Cohen guilty plea

Putin and Trump
President Trump crosses paths with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that it was "ludicrous" to suggest President Trump canceled his G20 meeting with Vladimir Putin because of news that Michael Cohen was pleading guilty in the Mueller investigation, claiming Russian aggression against Ukraine was the sole reason for the decision.

Why it matters: Trump's decision to cancel the meeting, announced via tweet, came just hours after his former personal attorney pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his work on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow — a plea that directly brought Trump and his business entanglements in Russia into the special counsel's investigation. Pompeo maintains that the meeting was canceled "because the Russians behaved in a way that is deeply inconsistent with international law."

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