Trump and Putin- Why Alone?
Presidents Trump and Putin will be meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16 after Trump attends the NATO summit and visits England. This would normally be news, but the real news is the
extraordinary aspect of this meeting as Trump will be meeting Putin alone. There will be a Russian interpreter, but no other Americans present. To say these unprecedented arrangements are strange is to completely miss the possible ramifications. Trump has already gone out of his way to praise Putin and Russia, wants to have Russia rejoin the Group of Seven, called to congratulate Putin on his election, and wants to lift some of the sanctions on Russia. In fact, he has not utilized all of the sanctions on Russia that Congress enacted and asked Trump to impose. Since the time of his election, for some reason Trump has treated Putin and Russia extremely gingerly, as if he is afraid to upset Putin. Trump has also angered our allies by declaring that Russia’s absorption of Crimea by military means was reasonable since most Crimeans speak Russian.
But why is Trump meeting Putin alone? With no other Americans there, Trump will be able to emerge from the meeting free to say anything he wants about what transpired. No one will be able to contradict him. With no advisers in the room, Trump will be able to make any secret deals he and Putin want, even though Trump may not recognize that it does not benefit America and in fact damages the nation. Why is Trump omitting advisers and Russian specialists from the meeting? Why is there no American interpreter to tell Trump about some of the nuances of what is being said? Will there be a tape made of the meeting that will be released immediately afterwards so that its contents cannot be altered?
Unfortunately, Trump may purposely make deals with Putin that help Russia, as Putin seems to have some information that he is holding over Trump’s head. Whether it is financial in origin such as secret loans to Trump’s businesses, deals with sanctioned persons or institutions, related to sexual activities while Trump had been in Russia in the past, or any other unsavory conduct is impossible to say. Perhaps it is all about the 2016 presidential election where Putin aided Trump’s victory and wants something in return. Whatever it is, there is a strong possibility that something will be discussed that Trump does not want revealed. And the question still remains why Trump has not yet released his tax returns which he promised he would do on several occasions. What is in these tax returns that he does not want the public to know?
It is certainly within President Trump’s purview to set up any kind of meeting he desires with Putin. But why is he doing it with no other Americans in the room? Could he be making arrangements with Putin for Russia to help the Republicans with the 2018 or 2020 American elections? Certainly, it is common knowledge about Trump’s propensity to lie and any of his statements after the meeting may be true or false with only Russians to verify what Trump says. Congress should pass a resolution demanding that Trump have American advisers on Russia and an American interpreter present when Trump and Putin meet. It is the only way for Americans to know what is occurring and prevent any nefarious deals from taking place.