Flake supports Dem demand for notes from Trump-Putin meeting

Flake supports Dem demand for notes from Trump-Putin meeting
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the White House needs to explain what, if any deal, was agreed to privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Finland.

“The White House has better get out in front of this because the Russians are talking about it, and they’re going to start characterizing it among their partisans,” Flake said. “They’re going to define it before we do. And the problem is there’s so little trust of our president now among our allies.”

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Flake at this point does not support a push by Democrats to subpoena the American translator who was present for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE’s one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki.

“Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. It shouldn’t,” he said.

But Flake, a frequent Trump critic, said he backs a demand by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference MORE (D-N.Y.) that the White House turn over the interpreter's contemporaneous notes of that meeting.

“I would hope that those notes — all interpreters take notes — would be turned over,” he said. “We need to know.

Russian envoy Anatoly Antonov has claimed that Trump and Putin reached “important verbal agreements” during the summit, a claim that caught some U.S. officials by surprise.

Antonov says the leaders reached agreement on issues related to Syria and arms control, according to The Washington Post.

“We’ve got to find out what the Russian ambassador was referring to yesterday when he said that important agreements were reached. We don’t know. We have no idea. We’ve got to find that out,” Flake said.

Flake worries that Russia may be trying to claim secret deals in an effort to undermine relations between the United States and NATO allies.

“Russia is going to play this game. They’re already out there talking about important agreements being reached and they will over the next while characterize those agreements in they way that they want to,” he said.