As we continue to learn that “President” Donald Trump has been working for Russia all along, the press reminds us that we don’t know what the communications between Trump and Vladimir Putin have been. The Washington Post published a story this weekend about the meeting between the asset and the handler in Helsinki. To this date, we have no idea what the two discussed in their two-hour, one-on-one meeting in Helsinki. But at another meeting where Trump had an interpreter (Hamburg), Trump confiscated the interpreter’s notes after the meeting:
“Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of his interpreter’s notes and instructing him not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.”
In light of the FBI investigation into whether Trump was working for the Russians, and the extraordinary number of meetings that many in his campaign, transition and administration had with various Russians that went undisclosed, Congress should subpoena the interpreter to appear and testify about the nature of the discussions between Trump and Putin.
Months after Helsinki, we have no clue about what was discussed. Incredibly, Trump gave no heads up about what was to be the agenda for the meeting and has refused to discuss any details even with senior staff. As the report indicates, this is not usual for an administration to keep the nation in such suspense. While Trump “disputed the characterization,” the Washington Post article chillingly noted:
Trump’s secrecy surrounding Putin “is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous,” said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state now at the Brookings Institution, who participated in more than a dozen meetings between President Bill Clinton and then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. “It handicaps the U.S. government — the experts and advisers and Cabinet officers who are there to serve [the president] — and it certainly gives Putin much more scope to manipulate Trump.”
Congress and Robert Mueller must get to the bottom of what has been communicated and what promises have been made by a “president” who might be compromised. Our nation’s future depends on understanding what is transpiring and how deep of a situation we are in vis a vis Russia.