Former aide says Trump told Putin at summit he was going to act tougher 'for the cameras'

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE reportedly told Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinUS threatens sweeping export controls against Russian industries German military official who said it's 'easy' to give Putin the respect he probably 'deserves' resigns US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave country MORE he was going to feign a tougher public demeanor in front of cameras during a 2019 meeting between the two, according to an upcoming book.  

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia The Hill's Morning Report - Voting rights takes center stage for Democrats Lawmakers take stock of election laws in wake of Jan. 6 anniversary MORE, Trump's former press secretary, wrote about the relationship between the leaders in her upcoming book "I’ll Take Your Questions Now." Specifically, Grisham described an encounter between Trump and Putin at the 2019 Group of 20 summit in Japan. 

"With all the talk of sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 election and for various human rights abuses, Trump told Putin, ‘Okay, I’m going to act a little tougher with you for a few minutes. But it’s for the cameras, and after they leave we’ll talk. You understand,’” Grisham wrote of the meeting, according to The New York Times.


At that same meeting, the Times reported that Grisham said former top Trump adviser Fiona Hill noticed Putin's subtle efforts to distract Trump, including the translator he selected. 

"As the meeting began, Fiona Hill leaned over and asked me if I had noticed Putin’s translator, who was a very attractive brunette woman with long hair, a pretty face, and a wonderful figure,” Grisham said, according to the Times. "She proceeded to tell me that she suspected the woman had been selected by Putin specifically to distract our president."

Liz Harrington, a spokeswoman for Trump, called Grisham's book "another pitiful attempt to cash in on the president’s strength and sell lies about the Trump family," the Times said.

"The little substance her book has — if you can make it through juvenile gossip — flies in the face of reality and deserves no serious recognition," Harrington told the Times. 

Grisham's book is scheduled to be released next week and includes other allegations against Trump such as instances of mistreating his staff and inappropriate comments about a young female aide, per the Times.