Trump rejects report that he hid details of Putin meetings

Trump Repeatedly Took ‘Extraordinary’ Measures to Hide Details of Face-to-Face Meetings With Putin: Report

US President Donald Trump refuted on Saturday media reports that he had allegedly hidden some details of his one-on-one conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tillerson has previously discussed the Hamburg meeting, telling reporters at a news conference that Trump "pressed" Putin on allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which Putin denied.

In one instance, following a meeting Trump had with Putin in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017 that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was also present for, a White House adviser and a senior State Department official were seeking additional information from Trump's interpreter that was more than the information provided in a readout from Tillerson.

The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States' main adversaries.

"Outrageous", former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott called the obsession with secrecy.

A White House spokesman told the Post that the Trump administration has looked to "improve the relationship with Russia" after the Obama administration "pursued a flawed "reset" policy that sought engagement for the sake of engagement".

"My firing of James Comey was a great day for America", Trump said, describing the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director as "a Crooked Cop who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller".

Trump added that the Times was a disaster as a newspaper. 'Anybody could have listened to that meeting, it is open for grabs.

What did Mr Trump say about the Putin story?

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The New York Post got a shoutout in one tweet.

"I would. I don't care", Trump said when asked if he would divulge details from the meetings.

Trump tweeted early on Saturday that the report showed that the FBI leadership "opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof" after he had fired Comey.

But though Tillerson had declined during the news conference to say whether Trump had accepted or rejected Putin's denial, Trump administration officials said the only detail the interpreter would give them was that Trump responded by telling Putin, "I believe you".

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the Post's story is "outrageously inaccurate".

Former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2017.

Trump also tried to defend his actions with Russian Federation, saying, "I've been tougher on Russian Federation than anybody else - any other - probably any other president, period, but certainly the last three or four presidents".

The inquiry forced counterintelligence investigators to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to national security. The overall investigation is looking into Russian election interference and whether Trump's campaign coordinated with the Russians, as well as possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

His former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance and fraud crimes while his campaign chief Paul Manafort was convicted of financial fraud.

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