Recently, President Donald Trump, still under investigation for allegedly colluding with Russia, has held several phone calls and personal meetings with Vladimir Putin. Hearing this, it has a lot of people wondering what these two leaders are discussing.
It’s not just the every day citizen who may be concerned with Trump’s relaxed, loosey-goosey approach to interacting with world leaders. Trump’s Twitter rages and shelling out his personal cell phone number without notifying officials, as well as inviting Putin over for dinner against the advice of his aides has U.S. and European officials worried enough to have internal deliberations, reports the Washington Post. As for what Putin and Trump talk about, according to Mother Jones, it’s the deep state, fake news, and their quickly budding friendship.
Calls between world leaders are typically more choreographed affairs, with regional experts preparing talking points for the president, and national security advisers briefing the president before remaining by his side for the duration of the call; following the conversation, a transcript of the discussion is then printed up and distributed to key aides.
Under federal records law, Trump is supposed to route each call with foreign leaders to the Situation Room, claim White House officials. Trump is known to go against this, after haven given out his private cell phone number to other foreign leaders back in 2017. More on how Trump discussed important matters about trade with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau without letting White House aides know can be found on the Washington Post.
Such unpredictability is also present in how Donald Trump has been handling relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump has hosted Putin at the White House, much to the disapproval of aides, twice so far: in November and March. Officials have urged Trump by arguing a slim chance of progressing substantive issues. Clearly Trump is in a disagreement, stating publicly in a past interview with Fox News that he thought discussing foreign relation matters personally, over dinner, would yield better results.
“I could say: ‘Would you do me a favor? Would you get out of Syria. Would you do me a favor? Would you get out of Ukraine.'”
This comment, combined with Trump’s recent behaviors since taking office and his relationship with Putin, has some White House officials concerned that Putin in particular is not only stroking Trump’s ego and grievances, but is using this to play on the U.S. President’s inexperience and lack of detailed knowledge about issues to form a friendship.
One senior U.S. official came forward to journalists, saying that Putin is using terms like “fake news” and “deep state” in his conversations with Trump. In one conversation, it is claimed that Putin told Trump, “It’s not us, it’s the subordinates fighting against our friendship.”
In another bit of conversation between these two leaders, Tump asked for Putin’s advice on what needed to be done about North Korea back in November, 2017, cited the Washington Post in their eye-opening article.