Report: Trump Called Reporter to Defend Putin Against Russian Meddling Claims
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have had a cordial relationship since day one of Trump’s term. The President has gone on record to praise the Russian as a strong leader on multiple occasions.
There has long been a question as to why Trump believes Putin did not meddle in the 2016 election. Despite being told the Russians did meddle by his senior leadership, Trump seems reticent to believe multiple agencies. According to the New York Times, the president even went out of his way to defend Putin to a news reporter.
The report claims that Trump made a phone call to the reporter to say the Russians were being falsely accused. Putin reportedly told Trump, “we wouldn’t have gotten caught because we’re professionals,’ which Trump thought was a good point.”
While the story notes that the conversation was off the record, the president has reused some of the talking points used in the call.
The importance of this story is magnified with the recent news that Trump concealed details of his conversations with Putin. Trump has met with Putin alone on a number of occasions with only a translator in the room. Putin is known as a skilled and cunning negotiator who is able to sway people towards his side.
Trump has long defected claims of Russian meddling for a variety of reasons, this is the first report of him going out of his way to defend Putin. The White House has yet to respond to the New York Times report.