FOX NEWS - President Trump on Saturday night strongly denied a report that he had taken unusual steps to hide the details of his private conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany, telling Fox News in an exclusive interview that he had followed typical protocols in the wake of other high-profile leaks of his sensitive communications with foreign leaders.
Trump's version of events about the meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit was seemingly backed up by former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whom Trump fired in March and who has, on occasion, publicly criticized the president.
Citing "current and former U.S. officials," The Washington Post reported that the president told interpreters not to discuss the substance of his talks with Putin and, at one point, seized an interpreter's notes. One interpreter, according to the Post, told officials that Trump had told Putin he believed his explanation that Russia had not improperly meddled in the 2016 presidential election -- contradicting Tillerson's contemporaneous statements at a press conference.
Tillerson, who has publicly and colorfully sparred with the president in recent weeks, told The Post for its article that he "was present for the entirety of the two presidents’ official bilateral meeting in Hamburg." Tillerson, despite his open criticisms of Trump in December as someone who became "frustrated" easily and who frequently needed to be reminded of the law, did not "respond" to The Post's allegations when the paper presented the claims to him.
“I would. I don’t care," Trump told "Justice with Judge Jeanine" host Jeanine Pirro, referring to disclosing details of his talks with Putin. "I had a conversation like every president does. You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries. We had a great conversation. We were talking about Israel and securing Israel, and lots of other things. It was a great conversation. I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."