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Trump Told Russians He Wasn’t Concerned About Kremlin’s 2016 Meddling

Editor's Blog Impeachment Russia White House

Trump Told Russians He Wasn’t Concerned About Kremlin’s 2016 Meddling


President Trump told Russian officials in May 2017 that he wasn’t concerned about Kremlin interference in the 2016 election because the United States had done the same thing in other countries, according to a new report in the Washington Post. He made the remarks during an Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States.

That same meeting drew harsh criticism because Trump also told the Russians about a confidential US intelligence source on the Islamic State, and said he felt “great relief” after firing FBI director James Comey. But his specific comments about the election meddling had not been reported until now.

Alarmed White House officials immediately sought to conceal memoranda of the meeting that might reveal Trump’s remarks, according to the Post. The document was hidden on the same highly-classified stand-alone National Security Council computer system where officials had secretly stored the memorandum of Trump’s July 25 telephone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. That system’s misuse to store potentially embarrassing — but not highly classified — documents was revealed by the intelligence community whistleblower who filed a complaint about Trump’s Ukraine shakedown.

The abuse of that system by Trump aides is now central to the impeachment inquiry set in motion by House Democrats last week.

IMAGE: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Donald Trump.






Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers. Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003). Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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