Dem senator: Trump-Putin translator should tell Congress what was said

Dem senator: Trump-Putin translator should tell Congress what was said
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenGreen New Deal vote tests Dem unity in Senate Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law MORE (D-N.H.) on Tuesday called for the American translator present during President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' MORE's one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to tell Congress what was said.

"I believe the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should hold a hearing with the American translator who was present during President Trump and President Putin's private meeting to determine what was specifically discussed and agreed to on the United States's behalf," Shaheen, a member of the committee, said.

Trump and Putin had a private one-on-one meeting that reportedly lasted more than two hours on Monday before a shocking joint press conference.

In that press conference, Trump downplayed Russian interference in the 2016 election and blamed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation for souring relations between Russia and the U.S.


Trump's remarks were met with swift condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. A number of lawmakers on Tuesday continued to condemn Trump's conduct. 

Though Putin speaks English, both Trump and Putin had translators with them at the meeting due to protocol. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week told the news organization Russia Today that Trump wanted to hold the meeting without other officials, but Putin preferred a translator to ensure he was communicating his thoughts clearly, according to Newsweek.

Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyThis week: Congress set for next stage of Mueller probe fight Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Overnight Defense: Top Marine warns border deployment could hurt readiness | McSally aims for sexual assault reforms in defense bill | House to vote on measure opposing transgender ban | New warning over F-35 sale to Turkey MORE III (D-Mass.) echoed Shaheen in a tweet, saying "@realDonaldTrump’s translator should come before Congress and testify as to what was said privately immediately. If Republicans are as outraged as they claim, then issue the subpoena today."

The code of ethics published by the American Translators Association says translators must "hold in confidence" any privileged information they come across. 

Shaheen's request is one of many proposed by lawmakers following the Helsinki summit.

House Democrats on Tuesday proposed a measure to endorse Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down MORE's (R-Wis.) statement criticizing Russian interference in U.S. elections, but Republicans blocked the resolution.

"It is imperative that the American people in this Congress know precisely what the president shared or promised the Kremlin on our behalf," Shaheen said. "Yesterday's events make it explicitly clear that Congress must exert its authority to be a check on the presidency."

Trump on Tuesday appeared to walk back his earlier remarks, claiming he accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, but he muddied that right away by repeating a previous claim that "other people" could have been involved in election meddling as well.