New Book Claims Donald Trump Pretended to Be Tough on Vladimir Putin
Donald Trump’s cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin was a hallmark of his presidency, yet the details of what went on between the two men behind closed doors have been limited to a few eyewitness accounts. But a new book authored by former First Lady Melania Trump’s ex-chief of staff is offering some new and unsettling insight into the nature of Trump’s bromance with Putin.
Their infamous meeting in Helsinki, Finland in 2018 drew extra scrutiny due to its secrecy. According to Stephanie Grisham’s I’ll Take Your Questions Now – a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post over the weekend – Trump told Putin that his public toughness was all an act.
“Okay, I’m going to act a little tougher with you for a few minutes. But it’s for the cameras, and after they leave, we’ll talk. You understand,” Trump reportedly said to the Russian leader during their clandestine summit.
That, however, was not the only bizarre incident Grisham noted during her time in the West Wing.
“Putin seemed to be attempting to throw Trump off his game in Osaka. She writes that Fiona Hill, the White House’s top Russia adviser, told her that Putin brought to their meeting an unusually attractive female translator, whose presence seemed intended to distract the U.S. president,” wrote the Post. “Putin also seemed to be coughing and clearing his throat an inordinate number of times throughout the meeting. Hill speculated to Grisham that he was probably attempting to trigger Trump’s well-known germaphobe tendencies, Grisham writes.”