A new book by two longtime Washington Post reporters reveals key moments in President Trump’s first three years in office, which include those rife with foreign policy implications.
According to a Washington Post report Wednesday, one of those moments captured in “A Very Stable Genius,” written by Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig, include the President being eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin before his inauguration. The book reports “that during the transition he interrupts an interview with one of his secretary of state candidates” to ask about setting up a meeting.
“When can I meet Putin? Can I meet with him before the inaugural ceremony?” Trump asked, according to the book.
The book also recalled that after Trump and Putin met in person for the first time at the Group of 20 summit in 2017, the President began touting himself as a Russia expert and dismissed the expertise of his then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who previously worked with Putin while climbing up the ExxonMobil corporate ladder and doing business with Russia.
“Tillerson’s years of negotiating with Putin and studying his moves on the chessboard were suddenly irrelevant,” the authors wrote, according to the Post. “‘I have had a two-hour meeting with Putin,’ Trump told Tillerson. ‘That’s all I need to know. . . . I’ve sized it all up. I’ve got it.’”
In an author’s note, the Post reporters wrote that the book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with more than 200 sources. Although Trump initially committed to an interview for the book, the authors wrote that he ultimately declined.
Read the Washington Post’s report here.