(Bloomberg) — U.S. President Donald Trump said he “couldn’t care less” if details from his conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin were released.
Trump was responding to a Washington Post report, which said he went to great lengths to hide details of his discussions with Putin. Trump took possession of his interpreter’s notes after a 2017 meeting in Hamburg and instructed the linguist not to discuss the matter with other administration officials, the Post said, citing current and former U.S. officials.
“We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of others things,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News on Saturday. “It was a great conversation. I’m not keeping anything under wraps.”
Representative Eliot L. Engel, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said it will hold hearings on the “mysteries swirling” around Trump’s relationship with the Russian president.
“Every time Trump meets with Putin, the country is told nothing,” Engel said in a statement. “The Foreign Affairs Committee will seek to get to the bottom of it.”
U.S. officials only learned of Trump’s actions when two aides sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout from then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Post said. The officials said there is no detailed record, including in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with Putin at five locations from the past two years, the newspaper reported.
“I mean it’s so ridiculous, these people make it up,” Trump said on Fox News, adding that he’s been tougher on Russia than the last three or four presidents.
A White House spokesman contacted by the Washington Post who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the administration has sought to “improve the relationship with Russia.”