Trump didn’t want note-taker in Putin meeting to avoid leaks: report
President Trump was reportedly wary of including a note-taker in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday because of a concern that details would be leaked.
The Wall Street Journal report came as Trump prepared for a private meeting in Finland with Putin, which is expected to last about 90 minutes. There were no note-takers seen in the room.
The Journal reported that Putin appeared to have a notepad and a pen on a small table next to him. Trump did not appear to have a notepad.
Speaking to reporters before the start of the meeting, Trump said that he expects to have “extraordinary relationship” with Putin — a comment that came just hours after he tweeted U.S.-Russia relations have “NEVER been worse,” because of the “many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity” and the “Rigged Witch Hunt.”
The Russian foreign ministry responded to that comment by saying, “We agree.”
The meeting between Putin and Trump comes only days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for their alleged role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential race.
Many Democratic lawmakers voiced opposition to the planned summit between Trump and Putin after the announcement was made. But Trump on Monday said that “getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
The Journal reported that top aides for Trump have said that the goal of the meeting is to open a conversation and not to reset relations.
Trump has previously said that he’d ask Putin about election meddling but noted that there is not much he can do to stop it.
“I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me.’ There won’t be a Perry Mason here,” Trump said last Friday, referring to the legal drama from the 1950s and ’60s.