CNN: Trump In 2016 ‘Didn’t Say Yes And He Didn’t Say No’ To Idea Of Putin Meet

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

During his 2016 campaign for President, Donald Trump neither agreed to nor rejected the idea of meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, CNN reported Wednesday.

CNN reported, citing an unnamed source in the room when Trump met with foreign policy advisers in March 2016, that Trump “didn’t say yes and he didn’t say no” when his former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos floated the idea.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then the chairman of Trump’s national security team and a Republican senator, firmly rejected the idea, according to CNN’s report.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier in October to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russian nationals.

He regularly informed other members of the Trump campaign about those communications, according to court documents unsealed Monday, and introduced himself at the campaign’s foreign policy meeting in March 2016 by saying “he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between” Trump and Putin.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told CNN on Wednesday that Trump did not recall what specifically took place in the meeting.

“Again, it was a brief meeting that took place quite some time ago,” she told CNN. “It was the one time that group ever met.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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