Former Deputy Secretary of State: Trump's secrecy on Putin meetings 'outrageous'

Where the investigations into U.S. President Donald Trump stand

Former Deputy Secretary of State: Trump's secrecy on Putin meetings 'outrageous'

There are no detailed records of five personal meetings President Donald Trump has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing U.S. officials.

This is a breaking news and developing story.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Trump had gone to "extraordinary lengths" to hide the specifics of his conversations with Putin.

"The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States' main adversaries", the daily reported. The FBI was concerned President Trum could be actively working for Russian Federation.

We had a great conversation, we were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things and it was a great conversation.

Trump said he fired Comey because 'he was a awful liar, and he did a bad job as the Federal Bureau of Investigation director'.

"I mean, I had a conversation like every president does".

The Trump administration rejected the report, saying Tillerson in 2017 "gave a fulsome readout of the meeting immediately afterwards to other U.S. officials in a private setting, as well as a readout to the press".

Former US officials told the The Washington Post that Trump's behavior is at odds with the known practice of previous presidents, who rely on senior aides to witness such meetings.

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"The Washington Post story is so outrageously inaccurate it doesn't even warrant a response".

But Trump's behaviour in the days around Comey's May 2017 firing as FBI director, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey's removal to the Russian Federation investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the newspaper. They also sought to determine whether Trump was deliberately working for Russian Federation or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow.

Sanders called the report "absurd".

A published report said federal law enforcement officials were so concerned about Trump's behaviour in the days after he fired James Comey as FBI director that they opened an investigation into whether Trump had been working for Russian Federation against US interests.

"James Comey was sacked because he's a disgraced partisan hack, and his Deputy Andrew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the FBI", Sanders said.

"I would. I don't care", Trump said when asked if he would divulge details from the meetings. "I couldn't care less", Trump said.

In the same interview with Pirro, Trump referred to the Times' article as "the most insulting article I've ever had written [about me]". "And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing".

Trump described the news report as "ridiculous". The New York Times cited unnamed former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" and insisted there was "NO COLLUSION" with Russian Federation. Trump repeated to Pirro his frequent criticism that the investigation is a "hoax". Trump also instructed the interpreter "not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials", in the Post's words.

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