Trump calls question on whether he ever worked for Russian Federation 'insulting'

Saul Bowman
January 14, 2019

The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), told the Post "it's been several months since" Trump's closed-door meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, "and we still don't know what went on in that meeting".

United States officials told The Post that no detailed records exist - even classified ones - of Trump's face-to-face conversations with Putin in five occasions over the last two years.

As a result, USA 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.

Trump faced widespread criticism following the Helsinki summit from both Democrats and Republicans, with his performance at a press conference alongside Putin - in which he sided with Moscow over his own government's assertion that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 U.S. election, and heaped praise on the Russian Federation strongman - roundly condemned by allies and critics alike.

Appearing on CNN's New Day, Samantha Vinograd said that it was puzzling - or maybe not - why Trump would be hiding what transpired between the two leaders when they met in private with only interpreters on hand.

I think Trump is correct on all of those particulars.

There remains no detailed record, even in classified files, of face-to-face meetings between Trump and Putin from five locations over the past two years, the report said.

The president directly responded to the accusations during an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, pledging transparency about his encounters with Putin, specifically their meeting in Helsinki last summer.

Ratcliffe said he was surprised to read Friday's New York Times report, which quoted part of his Baker interview, and reported that after the Comey firing "law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior" that they began investigating whether Trump was working on behalf of Russian Federation. I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less.

"I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written", Trump said.

Robert Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed special counsel soon after Comey's firing.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.

A separate source said Baker told investigators the internal FBI debate over the president's decision to fire Comey on May 9, 2017, included personnel who have since left the bureau for cause, retired, or have been demoted. The FBI was concerned President Trum could be actively working for Russian Federation.

Sanders called the report "absurd".

In a series of early-morning tweets Trump said that the agency had opened a probe "for no reason and with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze".

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, says his questions uncovered revelations that in May 2017 senior FBI leadership debated whether President Trump was directed by the Russian government to fire FBI Director James Comey.

Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been sentenced to three years in prison for multiple crimes, including felony violations of campaign finance laws that prosecutors allege were carried out under Trump's direction.

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