White House rejects Democrats' request for Trump-Putin communications, interpreter interview

The White House on Thursday rejected a Democratic request for information on private conversations between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, including an interview with an interpreter who sat in on their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki last summer.In a letter earlier this month, the House intelligence, foreign affairs andoversight committees asked for the substance of Trump and Putin’s conversations in person and by phone. They also asked for any documents related to the conversations, information on whether the talks had any impact on U.S. foreign policy, and information on whether Trump tried to conceal any evidence of them.

On Thursday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to the Democratic chairmen of the three committees rebuffing all those requests.

“The president must be free to engage in discussions with foreign leaders without fear that those communications will be disclosed and used as fodder for partisan political purposes,” Cipollone wrote, adding, “No foreign leader would engage in private conversations with the president, or the president’s senior advisors, if such conversations were subject to public disclosure (or disclosure to committees of Congress).”

Citing Supreme Court precedent, Cipollone wrote that “the conduct of foreign affairs is a matter that the Constitution assigns exclusively to the President.”

 Read more at Washington Times

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