Trump’s conversations with Putin: what is he afraid of?
Over the weekend, a worrying habit of President Trump's was revealed: he has sought to eliminate any trace of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. What is he afraid of?
The alleged collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government has become as clear as two plus two.
Since his inauguration, Donald Trump has not only opposed previous sanctions against Russia, but he has sided with Vladimir Putin and against U.S. intelligence agencies, and lied about his alleged personal businesses in Moscow, and that his campaign assistants shared sensitive information with Russian intelligence in 2016.
Although the final verdict remains in the hands of Robert Mueller's investigation, a new report by the Washington Post adds another piece of evidence surrounding President Trump's fear that the nature of his relationship with Putin will be disclosed.
According to an article published last Sunday, Trump "took possession of his own interpreter's notes" on more than one occasion after meeting with his Russian counterpart, and even "instructed his linguist not to discuss what happened during the meeting with other government officials.”
This information was shared by current and past officials of the U.S. government, which reflects an effort undertaken by the president to both prevent the dissemination of information essential to the country, and obstruct an ongoing investigation.
The most alarming issue is that, according to the officials, "there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump's face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader," after his five encounters over the last two years.
This could mean that Putin has more control over President Trump than previously believed.
A report from the New York Times added that the FBI initiated a joint criminal and counterintelligence investigation into "whether the president would be working with Russia against U.S. interests at the time of firing FBI director James Comey in 2017."
Given these latest updates, all signs point to President Trump being a suspect of collusion, obstruction of justice and treason, all at once.
According to the Times, "counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security", implying that he could be knowingly working for Russia. They are determined to find out whether the U.S. president "has unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence."
Be it consciously or not, the U.S. president's weakness in facing his Russian counterpart is increasingly evident, which often validates fears expressed by both the media and experts about the danger that he might pose while in the White House.
Deeper investigations by the Washington Post have even raised the possibility that the private meetings between Trump and Putin could have centered around discussing joint strategies when responding to situations such as the meeting between members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer in the Trump Tower.
As Mueller's investigation has progressed, the closest members of the campaign have been falling one by one, and the president's actions and his hostile words have only reinforced the need for a conclusion to be reached as soon as possible.