While leaving for his trip to Japan on Wednesday, President Donald Trump stopped to speak with the press on the South Lawn of the White House, where one reporter asked a question that clearly struck a nerve.
Sarah Westwood, a reporter for CNN, asked Trump whether he planned on telling Russian President Vladimir Putin at their upcoming meeting not to interfere in the 2020 election.
“I’ll have a very good conversation with him,” Trump said. Then, with venom in his voice and facial expression, he added: “What I say to him is none of your business!”
Trump frequently lashes out at reporters, but his insults and broadsides tend to seem performative — it’s clear he enjoys lambasting reporters when he gets the chance. But this question really appeared to get under Trump’s skin, eliciting an outburst that showed how sensitive he is about the issue and prompting him to quickly move on to another question. Before this question, he had said of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and the continuing probes driven by congressional Democrats, “The Mueller thing never stops! … At what point does it end?”
But his claim that Westwood’s question wasn’t her business was as absurd as it was revealing. When Trump speaks to a foreign leader, he is speaking on behalf of the American people — that makes it every American’s business. And as a White House reporter, it’s literally Westwood’s job to find out what Trump says in situations like this, whether he wants her to know or not. The fact that Trump has been particularly secretive about his conversations with Putin has made their relationship, and his plans for American relations with Russia, even more suspicious. And Trump’s position toward foreign leaders’ potential election interference has become of even greater importance recently when the president suggested he would welcome opposition research on his political opponents from other countries’ governments, even though this could violate the law.
Watch the clip below:
The tangled web of Rudy Giuliani’s associations with questionable characters in the Ukraine scandal
Washington Post political analyst Philip Bump has created a link analysis of the tangled web President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani finds himself caught in.
According to the report, Giuliani isn't only linked to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two associates indicted and arrested after lunch with them a few weeks ago. Giuliani is linked to a chorus of people now outed for being involved in the Ukraine scandal.
WATCH: CNN displays the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause as Trump rambles about it being ‘phony’
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“We prefer peace to war,” Pompeo said on Closing Bell. “But in the event that kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.”
Pompeo declined to give specifics, saying that he doesn't want to "get out in front of the president’s decision about whether to take the awesome undertaking of using America’s military might," adding that economic and diplomatic "powers" could also be used.