If you’re a US president, it’s probably not a great idea to meet with a foreign leader who meddled in your country’s elections without some way to record what’s being discussed.
But that’s just what President Donald Trump apparently did — again.
According to the Financial Times, Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin during last November’s G20 summit in Argentina without a US official present to take notes. First lady Melania Trump was by the president’s side during the chat, but no staff joined them.
The White House had previously acknowledged that both leaders met for an “informal” talk but didn’t disclose that Trump had no official member of his team present. Putin did have someone, though: his translator, although it’s unclear if that person wrote anything down.
So after taking the notes away from his official translator after their Helsinki meeting, Trump again met “privately” with Putin this past November in Argentina. Not only did he again fail to bring any staff along, he also didn’t bring his translator, relying on the solely on the Russian translator.
So why does our President feel the need to keep meeting secretly with Putin? What’s he trying to hide by keeping his national security team out of the loop and why won’t he even have an American translator in the room?