Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead In dramatic shift, national intelligence director does not rule out 'extraterrestrial' origins for UFOs Durham's latest indictment: More lines drawn to Clinton's campaign MORE on Monday slammed President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE for meeting alone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Brennan, a frequent Trump critic, questioned what the president was “hiding” from his own advisers by insisting on meeting one-on-one with Putin at their summit in Helsinki.
“Why did Trump meet 1 on 1 with Putin? What might he be hiding from Bolton, Pompeo, Kelly, & the American public?” Brennan tweeted. “How will Putin use whatever Trump could be hiding to advantage Russia & hurt America? Trump’s total lack of credibility renders spurious whatever explanation he gives.”
Why did Trump meet 1 on 1 with Putin? What might he be hiding from Bolton, Pompeo, Kelly, & the American public? How will Putin use whatever Trump could be hiding to advantage Russia & hurt America? Trump’s total lack of credibility renders spurious whatever explanation he gives.— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Trump and Putin met one-on-one in Helsinki before moving into an expanded bilateral meeting with advisers. In their first meeting, only translators were present. Trump reportedly did not want to have a note-taker in the room because of a concern that details would leak.
Trump and Putin sat down with photographers and reporters before heading into the meeting. Trump said he thinks the U.S. and Russia would “end up having an extraordinary relationship.”
He said before the start of the expanded meeting that the summit was off to a “very, very good start.”
Hours before the start of the meeting, Trump sent a tweet blaming “years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity," as well as the federal investigation into Russia's election meddling, for poor U.S.-Russia relations.
Trump said he would raise the issue of election meddling with Putin, but suggested that he did not think anything would come of it.