Before Or After Summit? Rosenstein Let Trump Pick Timing For New Russia Charges

on October 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Using a rare national security loophole, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein briefed President Donald Trump during an ongoing grand jury case to let Trump choose if he wanted the 12 Russian indictments released before or after the Helsinki summit, according to a Tuesday Bloomberg report.

Trump reportedly chose to have the information released beforehand to give himself leverage going into talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The news was released three days before the summit.

It is unclear why Trump wanted a spotlight on the indictments, as he ended up refusing to disavow Putin for the 12 Russians’ actions during the summit, earning him widespread criticism. Trump sort of walked his comments back Tuesday, saying he’d misspoken, but muddied his position just one sentence later.

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