Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are having a private one-on-one meeting, with the only staff present being a Russian and American translator, at their Helsinki Summit. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been amassing a treasure trove of evidence about the ongoing conspiracy between the actual despot and the would-be despot. Foreign intelligence services have contributed mightily to this effort by sharing information they captured through electronic intercepts and human sources.
The meeting between Trump and Putin is the perfect opportunity for our foreign allies to plant bugs in their meeting room, starting with the host country Finland. However both leaders are rightfully paranoid, so it is a given that the meeting room will be swept for bugs before and after their conversation. So how can this conversation be heard? Trump and Putin will talk about what they suspect is already known by Mueller, their plans to thwart the investigation going forward, the quid pro quo deals that ensure the conspiracy remains fruitful for both parties, and the message they will convey to the media going forward.
Mueller has four options to learn what is said in real time. 1.) Place electronic listening devices in adjacent rooms that can pick up the conversation. 2.) Plant devices on the unsuspecting translators. 4.) Figure out how to clandestinely plant a device inside Trump’s shoe or belt buckle 4.) Recruit the American translator to debrief law enforcement soon afterwards.
Granted, this sounds more like another Jason Bourne spy thriller, but desperate times call for desperate measures. There will never be a better opportunity to learn what Trump and Putin are plotting than during this critical meeting. It is hard to imagine that various scenarios haven’t at least been contemplated by Mueller, who knows all the tricks of the trade. Somehow, some way, Trump and Putin won’t be the only ones who know what is said between them. Maybe all of the aforementioned scenarios are fanciful, but that doesn’t mean something isn’t afoot.
J.H. Norton is a communications professional, life-long Democrat, and married father of two boys living in Washington, D.C.