What was Donald Trump doing in the last weeks before the 2020 election, and the weeks between his loss and his exit from the White House? Besides sowing discord and spreading election conspiracy theories, of course. It turns out that a documentary filmmaker was on the inside, seeing it all, and he can finally share a small portion of it with the public — including a mystery call with Vladimir Putin.
After Alex Holder’s Thursday meeting with the January 6th Committee, which he says was “thorough,” he moved on to a chat with Politico, where, among other things, he shared the story of a missed interview with the then-president.
It took place — or rather, didn’t — on October 25th, when Holder joined Trump on a trip to New Hampshire and Maine. He planned to interview Trump during the trip, but Mark Meadows informed him that their talk was canceled, because the president was on an important phone call — with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Politico made some guesses about the possible context of that phone call, including noting that it hit squarely in between Trump accusing his opponent, Joe Biden, of taking in money through illegal business schemes with his son, Hunter, and Putin making a public statement that directly contradicted this.
NBC covered that at the time, reporting that Putin had made a statement saying he saw nothing corrupt or inappropriate in Hunter Biden’s business ties with Ukraine or Russia. Notably, they also report that around this time, Putin became visibly “less friendly” with Trump.
Was any of this related to the election, or campaigning? After all, Putin could, hypothetically, have supported Trump’s allegations against Biden, potentially doing additional damage to his reputation and polling, and boosting Trump.
Unfortunately, the call doesn’t seem to have been documented at all, much less its contents documented and stored in presidential archives, so the world may never know.
The rest of Politico‘s conversation with Holder can be heard on their podcast, here.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com