We’ll Probably Never Know What Happened in the Trump/Putin Meeting

All eyes have been on the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin today at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. It lasted for over two hours and the headlines are starting to roll out.

Putin denies election hacking after Trump pressed him, Tillerson says

Tillerson: Trump Raised Concern About Election Meddling In Putin Meeting

Trump and Putin have ‘robust’ talk about election interference

Trump Brought Up Russian Meddling At Top of Putin Meeting, Says Tillerson

Obviously there is a theme that is emerging after Sec. of State Tillerson briefed the press. The message is that Trump pressed Putin over their election meddling.

But here’s my take: we’ve now lived with the Trump administration for almost six months and if we’ve learned nothing else, it should be that we can’t trust what they say. Apparently the only four people in the room today (other than interpreters) were Trump, Tillerson, Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. Already there has been some disagreement between them about what happened.

The two principals involved in this meeting have a history of obfuscation and lying. Their spokesmen are going to tell us whatever it is their bosses want us to hear. We can parse Tillerson’s account for evidence that either (a) Trump challenged Putin, or (2) Trump caved to Putin. But the real news is more likely to be about what they’re not telling us than what they did tell us.

Over these last few months we’ve been given plenty of evidence to suggest that we shouldn’t trust Trump when it comes to Putin and Russia. Why should we all of the sudden believe what Sec. Tillerson had to say about this meeting?

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.