Whenever the White House puts out a statement regarding Donald Trump, you can be sure of one thing: it’s just a matter of time until Trump himself contradicts that statement. Over and over, Trump has thrown his spokespeople under the bus as he publicly says the opposite of what his surrogates have told the public. And he just did it again.
According to the White House, Trump’s second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was merely “a brief conversation at the end of a dinner,” nothing more than a perfectly innocent exchange of “pleasantries and small talk.” True to form, Trump blew this cover to smithereens shortly after the statement was made and revealed that the private meeting, which officials say lasted “more than an hour,” was actually a discussion about policy.
Here is what Trump had to say to the New York Times about his second meeting with Putin:
She [Melania Trump] was sitting next to Putin and somebody else, and that’s the way it is. So the meal was going, and toward dessert I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about — things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption.
We talked about Russian adoption. Yeah. I always found that interesting. Because, you know, he ended that years ago. And I actually talked about Russian adoption with him, which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don [Jr., Mr. Trump’s son] had in that meeting.
And here’s the problem with what he said. The whole topic of Russian adoption is far from just being casual small talk. Putin got mad when President Obama implemented the Magnitsky Act in 2012, which was meant to punish Russia for their blatant human rights violations. In retaliation, Putin banned the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.
So, by stating that he and Putin discussed Russian adoptions, Trump just inadvertently admitted that he discussed official policy in a private meeting with a foreign adversary. Whoops.
“This puts the U.S. government at a significant disadvantage because we have no record of what transpired conversationally between the president and Putin,” former NATO commander James Stavridis explained.
Yet again, Trump has chosen Russia and Putin over the American people. Sad.
Featured image via Michael Reynolds – Pool/Getty Images