President Donald Trump has taken pains to hide details of his communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his own administration – even going so far as to take notes from his interpreter and order the linguist to stay silent, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
The Post, citing current and former US officials, said Trump took the interpreter’s notes after a 2017 meeting with Putin in Hamburg, which then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also attended.
The officials said they found out about the apparent concealment when a White House adviser and a State Department official tried to get information from the interpreter beyond a separate readout provided by Tillerson.
A White House spokesman told The Post on condition of anonymity that Tillerson’s readout of the Hamburg meeting was “fulsome” and delivered to US officials immediately afterward – and a readout was given to the press.
The spokesman added that Trump has tried to “improve the relationship with Russia” and “imposed significant new sanctions in response to Russian malign activities.”
The White House did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.