UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — U.S. President Donald Trump “fawned” before Russian leader Vladimir Putin during their first telephone conversation on January 28, 2017. This is stated in an article published on Saturday in the front page of The Washington Post, which cites sources in the White House.
According to them, during a conversation about a week after the inauguration, Trump “fawned” on Putin, calling him “a great leader and scattering in apology for not calling him earlier.” The former and current assistants to the head of the White House, who were in the Oval Office during the negotiations, told the newspaper that Trump was “being slavish and sucking.”
At the same time, he skipped from one topic to another, while Putin adhered to the discussion topics. “He [Trump] acted like:” My God, my assistants did not tell me that you wanted to speak with me,” a source told the publication.
During one of the telephone conversations, the American leader turned to the Russian president for “instructions on establishing friendly relations with [the DPRK leader] Kim Jong-un,” the newspaper said.
“We could not understand in a timely manner why he is so kind to Russia,” the Washington Post quoted the former Washington administration official as saying. The White House wondered why Trump is so friendly to Moscow. In this regard, the article says, Herbert McMaster, the assistant to the president of the United States for national security at that time, began to persuade the head of state to be more skeptical about Russia.
Moreover, last summer after the incident with the poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripaley in Salisbury Trump, during a telephone conversation with the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, Theresa May, questioned the findings of intelligence on Russia’s involvement in this case. “Trump believed that there were credible suspicions of poisoning,” a newspaper source said, adding that the US president was “not sure” of London’s findings.
– Call Concerns –
An article in The Washington Post notes that White House employees were very apprehensive and anxious about Trump’s telephone conversations with world leaders. They were worried that the president might “make a promise that should not be kept, approve a decision that the United States has long opposed, make a diplomatic mistake and jeopardize a vital alliance, or simply put pressure on his interlocutor for personal gain.”
So, many employees of the Washington administration “were horrified by what happened during the telephone conversations,” the publication points out.
“Telephone calls were shameful, huge mistakes were made, many months of work came to naught after one impulsive Twitter message,” The Washington Post source said. An example is the promise that Trump made during a phone call to join Saudi Arabia to the Group of Seven. However, the newspaper emphasizes, the kingdom was never admitted to the G7.
According to The Washington Post, the American leader does not heed the advice of his assistants before telephone calls and refuses long briefings.
The source of the publication emphasized that during one of the conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump several times talked about how he liked the chocolate cake that the two leaders served for dessert in April 2017 at a meeting at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
During one of these conversations, says a source who at that time held the post of chief of staff at the White House, John Kelly had to turn off the phone’s microphone to ask the president to “get the conversation back on track.”
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