Trump has reportedly concealed notes from several meetings with Putin as “extraordinary lengths” were taken to keep top secret conversations hidden.
There are no detailed records from five personal meetings between the US President and the Russian President, according to The Washington Post .
Current and former US officials reportedly told the publication Trump confiscated his interpreter’s notes and instructed the linguist not to disclose details of the face-to-face with other government officials following a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg.
The instance came to light when a White House adviser and senior State Department official sought information from Trump’s interpreter.
US officials claim there is no detailed records of face-to-face meetings between Putin and Trump over the last two years at five locations.
I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2019
The Republican denied he hid the private discussions and said he “couldn’t care less” about the matter.
“I had a conversation like every president does,” Trump told Fox News following the report. “You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries.
“We had a great conversation, we were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things and it was a great conversation. I’m not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn’t care less.”
When asked if is or ever has worked for Russia, Trump replied, “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked”.
“I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!”
The US President closed the government on December 22 and surpassed the nation’s previous record of Bill Clinton’s 21 days.
About 800,000 federal workers are facing several days without pay caused by the government shutdown while the White House remains understaffed.
Experts predict the standoff fuelled by lack of funding for Trump’s border wall with Mexico could last another week. The Republican reportedly wants US$5.7billion from Congress to build part of the structure but the Democrats refuse to give any funding for the wall.
“This shutdown is hurting industries across the country that save American lives,” The Democrats wrote on Twitter. “It’s time for the White House to stop holding workers’ paychecks hostage and end the Trump shutdown.”