Trump concealed details from meetings with Putin

Where the investigations into U.S. President Donald Trump stand

On Sunday Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and vice-chair of the Senate intelligence committee, said it was suspicious that Trump has "parroted" the policies of Putin.

That occurred after the President's 2017 meeting in Hamburg with Putin, which the Post noted was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

According to the report, in a break from standard policy and the practices of former presidents, Trump has denied top advisers detailed information of several meetings with the Russian leader, whom United States agencies have accused of seeking to undermine American democracy.

FBI agents and senior officials began to suspect connections between Trump and Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign but pushed off an investigation partially because they were unsure how to execute such a massive and sensitive operation, sources told the Times.

What did Mr Trump say about the Putin story?

Protesters rally before Trump and Putin's Helsinki meeting.

Citing current and former USA officials, the report claims that after a 2017 meeting between the two heads of state in Germany, Trump also instructed the translator not to disclose any details of what transpired with administration officials.

"I'm not keeping anything under wraps", Trump insisted in an interview Saturday night with Jeanine Pirro on Fox News.

"The president also again defended his firing of ex-FBI Director James Comey, voicing outrage over a New York Times report that as a result of the firing, the FBI had investigated if Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russian Federation".

He added: "Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs".

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". Eventually, Trump claimed he has "been FAR tougher with Russia.maybe than any other President".

But when Trump then tied Comey's firing to the Russian Federation investigation two separate times, the FBI opened the probe, the people said to the Times. Trump accused Federal Bureau of Investigation special counsel Bob Mueller and the Democrats of having "NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee".

Former US officials told the The Washington Post that Trump's behavior is at odds with the known practice of previous presidents, who rely on senior aides to witness such meetings. Trump also instructed the interpreter "not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials", in the Post's words.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called the Times report "absurd" and said Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack". But Trump's behavior in the days around Comey's May 2017 firing as FBI director, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey's ousting to the Russian Federation investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the newspaper.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt" and views it as an attempt to besmirch the legitimacy of his presidency.

His former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance and fraud crimes while his campaign chief Paul Manafort was convicted of financial fraud.

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