BOSTON (CBS) — “I really think the world wants to see us get along,” said President Trump before his private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Maybe so. But while their sitdown with only translators present was unprecedented, the president’s submissive performance in the press conference that followed has intensified demands back at home to know more about what went down.
Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) says: “We are dependent on the readout from the Russian government to set the agenda between a private and unprecedented meeting for almost two hours between Vladimir Putin and the President of the United States, after which, he refused to stand up for the American public.”
New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen tweeted: “The Kremlin is touting an agreement reached privately between President Trump & Putin. Yet Congress, the American public & most of the admin still have no details. Congress needs to hear from the interpreter who was present to determine what @POTUS agreed to on our behalf.”
And it’s not just Democrats who want to know more.
“I’m not saying it ought to be done in a public hearing, [but] we at least ought to get access to the notes that the translators keep,” says Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona).
No wonder Republicans are worried. While recent surveys show voters trust even the much-maligned mainstream media more than the president, a Politico poll taken just before the Helsinki meeting found national security was one of the few policy areas that voters trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle properly.