President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to conceal details of his personal interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including at least once seizing the notes of his own interpreter, according to The Washington Post.
Citing current and former U.S. officials, the report claims that after a 2017 meeting between the two heads of state in Germany, Trump also instructed the interpreter not to disclose to other administration officials any details of what transpired.
His actions were reportedly brought to light when a White House adviser and senior State Department official requested further information from the interpreter in addition to a handout provided by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who also attended.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a White House spokesperson told the Post that the Trump’s administration has attempted to “improve the relationship with Russia” after the Obama administration “pursued a flawed ‘reset’ policy that sought engagement for the sake of engagement.”
When asked about the report by Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Saturday evening, Trump said that he wasn’t “keeping anything under wraps” and that he would be happy to share what was discussed with Putin.
On Friday, The New York Times reported the FBI opened an investigation into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia.
In the interview with Pirro, Trump referred to the Times’ article as “the most insulting article I’ve ever had written [about me].”
“And I can tell you this, if you ask the folks in Russia, I’ve been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other ― probably any other president period,” he said. “But certainly the last three or four presidents, modern day presidents, nobody’s been as tough as I have from any standpoint.”
Both reports have come as special counsel Robert Mueller closes in on the president while investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and allegations that Trump obstructed justice.