On the heels of an explosive New York Times report detailing an FBI investigation opened shortly after Donald Trump fired former Director James Comey into whether or not the Russians had co-opted Trump into an unwitting (or possibly aware) asset, the Washington Post has produced a bombshell of their own. The Post‘s national security correspondent Greg Miller published a report today on Trump’s meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin that casts the President’s behavior as strange and more than a little suspicious.
According to the Post, during his various meetings with Putin, Trump has purposely been keeping much of his staff and senior officials in the dark about what’s been discussed. Speaking with some of those officials, Miller uncovered that Trump has “gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations” and even at least at one point took away his interpreter’s notes and kept them, instructing the translator not to discuss what had transpired with any other administration officials.
There are a number of possibilities for the reason behind Trump’s suspicious behavior. It could be that Trump is trolling his detractors by acting secretive about his meetings with the foreign leader. It could be that Trump is being honest when he gives his staff the impression that he “thinks the presence of subordinates impairs his ability to establish a rapport with Putin.” But that’s far less likely than that Trump simply doesn’t want anyone knowing what he’s discussed.
In fact, that’s the likeliest explanation not just because he’s acting differently than any president before him, but because he has acted on multiple suggestions from Putin and the Kremlin that the nation didn’t find out about until well after the fact — and even then only after the kind of investigative reporting that brought us this weekend’s stories from the Times and the Post.
That would certainly lend even more credibility to the FBI’s investigation into whether or not Trump is a Russian asset. From the Post:
As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.”
And that’s just the way Trump — and the way Putin — wants it to be.
Featured image via screen capture