MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was astonished by reports that President Donald Trump secretly met with Vladimir Putin with only a Russian translator present.
The private and undisclosed meeting leaves the president vulnerable to his Russian counterpart’s characterization of their conversation, he said, and sows mistrust among the American public and U.S. allies.
“Reporters, foreign policy analysts and our allies can safely assume the worst,” Scarborough said. “They can safely assume the worst of Donald Trump, they can safely assume the worst of Vladimir Putin, because in the last meeting that Donald Trump had with Russians before Putin, he was talking to their foreign minister and their ambassador to the U.S., and he was talking about firing James Comey and saying he had gotten the pressure off of everybody because he had fired the nut case who was investigating Donald Trump’s possible illegal ties with Russia.”
“So what are we to assume if not the worst — that he had this meeting, the White House didn’t reveal it. Once again we had to find out about it through third channels and there wasn’t even an American within earshot to listen what they talked about for an hour.”
Trump complained Tuesday night on Twitter that the media was trying to make the previously undisclosed meeting appear “sinister,” but the “Morning Joe” host said they didn’t need to spin it.
“It’s the president himself who may have made this look sinister,” Scarborough said.
“Certainly, a lot of foreign policy minds, not only in Washington but across the world, especially among our allies, are deeply concerned that the president of the United States has now spent three hours with Vladimir Putin, someone that he’s long accused of having an abnormal relationship with, an abnormally close relationship with, unusual admiration for, and now he’s had three hours worth of meetings without a national security adviser by his side, and this one-hour meeting, which was not known to the press, this side meeting that the press did not know about, he actually spoke to Vladimir Putin with no American there, only an interpreter from the Kremlin. What? I don’t even know what to say.”