At least 68% of Americans are concerned about the possibility that our President or his campaign associates had inappropriate ties to Russia. In spite of the ongoing investigation by Rober Mueller, it seems that Donald Trump’s attitude can only be described as “caviler.” When Fox News indicates disgust at the attitude of Trump regarding the collusion with Russia, you know things are bad.
It was Wednesday, May 10th that Donald Trump was photographed Yuking-it-up with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The photo was taken by Tass, the official Russian news agency. They were the only news agency allowed in the Oval Office to record the meeting in photos. Trump refused to allow anyone from the American media to be present. Because the Russian hacking investigation was underway Trump’s private meeting was predicted to raise questions by the American media and the public. That meeting also took place one day after Trump fired James Comey. It seemed Trump was more willing to trust the Russian media than the US media. The obvious difference is that Putin controls the Russian media.
Trump had not disclosed that Kislyak would even be in attendance at the Oval Office Meeting in May. Trump had disclosed that he’d be meeting with Mr. Lavrov, but that meeting was closed to the press.
Contrast that meeting in the Oval Office with Trump and his Russian buddies yuking it up, to the meeting Rex Tillerson had with Putin. When Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson met with Putin in Russia, Vladimir V. Putin kept him waiting for hours. Tillerson left his American press contingent behind.
Trump met with Putin at the G-20 Summit for almost two hours, with the press watching. However the press was not allowed to attend the dinner for the Presidents and spouses. There was a private meeting between Trump and Putin that occurred during that dinner. The dinner lasted about 3 hours, and Trump was not seated next to Putin. Thus Trump had to purposefully approach and meet with Putin. About two hours into the dinner Trump left his chair and approached Vladimir V. Putin.
Trump met with Puting in this private meeting for almost an hour. There was no translator from the United States who participated in the meeting, so there is no record of what the two talked about. It was only a translator from Russia that participated in that private meeting. However the White House confirmed that the second meeting did occur. Some of the world leaders in attendance remarked privately on the “odd spectacle” of an American President focusing attention on the President of Russia. Trump tried to minimize any negative press related to the second meeting, indicating is was a short encounter. However others in attendance reported that the second meeting lasted almost an hour, and there was confirmation that Trump’s motorcade left the dinner four minutes after Mr. Putin’s did.
“Pretty much everyone at the dinner thought this was really weird, that here is the president of the United States, who clearly wants to display that he has a better relationship personally with President Putin than any of us, or simply doesn’t care,” said Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a New York-based research and consulting firm, who said he had heard directly from attendees. “They were flummoxed, they were confused and they were startled.”
Experts in United States-Russia relations indicated that this meeting was of concern because of its length, which suggested a substantive exchange, and because there was no note taker or national security or foreign policy aide present.
We have the worst relationship as a country right now with Russia that we have in decades, and yet we have these two leaders that, for reasons that do not make sense and have not been explained to anyone’s satisfaction, are hellbent on adoring each other,” Mr. Bremmer said. “You can take everything that’s been given to us, and it doesn’t add up.”