President Trump has concealed details about past encounters he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin from officials in his administration on multiple occasions, current and former U.S. officials told The Washington Post in a report published on Saturday.
The Post detailed a 2017 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, between the two presidents where a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought for information beyond a prepared readout.
At that meeting, Trump took notes from his own interpreter and instructed the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.
The Post notes that this is part of “a broader pattern” of Trump shielding his communications with Putin from the public as well as senior government officials.
The newspaper reported that this pattern of behavior has resulted in there being “no detailed record” of his face-to-face meetings with the Russian leader at “five locations over the past two years.”
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Post that he “was present for the entirety of the two presidents’ official bilateral meeting in Hamburg,” but declined to discuss the content of the meeting and did not respond to questions about whether Trump had instructed the interpreter to remain silent or had taken the interpreter’s notes.