In the wake of the outrage over President Trump’s presser with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has demanded the release of any notes taken during the private meeting between the two leaders.
“Where are the notes from that meeting?” the New York Democrat asked on the Senate floor Tuesday. “What did the president agree to? Can we have the translator come in and testify? Was Secretary of State Pompeo briefed afterwards on what happened? Did he take notes? Were any other members of the president’s team? The notes need to be turned over to Congress immediately.”
“We need to know this because as frightening and damaging as the president’s comments were to the public in Helsinki, what he said behind closed doors is in all likelihood even worse,” he added.
Schumer’s demand came after a surreal 24 hours of damage control by a White House frantically attempting to control the fallout from Trump’s Monday morning refusal to accept the American intelligence community’s assessment that Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential election.
“He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said of Putin’s denials that the Kremlin interfered in the election, speaking during his Monday morning press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
On Tuesday, the president backtracked.
“I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” he told reporters. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative.”
“What is President Putin going to take out of the president’s actions today?” Schumer asked, in reference to Trump’s Tuesday remarks. “That the man is weak, that he’s afraid, that he’s cowardly and that Putin will feel that he can take even further advantage of Donald Trump.”