Trump rejects report that he hid details of Putin meetings
WASHINGTON, Jan 13: President Donald Trump has rejected a Washington Post report that he has refused to share details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin with top US government officials.
Trump, in a telephone interview late Saturday with Fox News, dismissed as "ridiculous" the Post story that alleged he went to great lengths to hide the content of his talks with Putin, even confiscating the notes of his interpreter and ordering that person to not discuss what was said.
Trump said he had "a great conversation" with Putin in Helsinki in July 2018.
When asked why not release details of the nearly two-hour conversation, Trump said: "I would, I don't with care.
"I mean, I had a conversation like every president does. You sit with the president of various countries... We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things ... I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less. I mean, it's so ridiculous."
He added: "Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs." According to the Post there is no detailed record of Trump's personal talks with Putin at five locations over the past two years.
The newspaper quotes unnamed current and former government officials as sources for the story.
Trump also told Fox when asked about Putin that "no collusion" has been found between his 2016 campaign and Russia, that he was a better candidate than Democrat Hillary Clinton, that the US economy "is the strongest in the world," and that The Washington Post is "basically the lobbyist for Amazon," as both are owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos.
Trump also took aim at an earlier story in The New York Times stating that the FBI launched a previously undisclosed counterintelligence investigation to determine whether he posed a national security threat, at the same time that it opened a criminal probe into possible obstruction of justice. -AFP