Published: Thu, July 19, 2018

Trump Putin: Democrats call for interpreter to testify

Trump Putin: Democrats call for interpreter to testify

While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered with the election to help elect Trump - Putin has acknowledged he wanted Repubulican Trump to win over Democrat Hillary Clinton - Trump stood to Putin's side and said the Russian president had denied any attempt to sway the election and that "I don't see any reason it would be" Russia that did it.

Her name is Marina Gross and she has worked as a translator for the State Department for years. Gross was the only other person present during the private Putin and Trump meeting in Helsinki (other than possibly a Putin translator). Gross also sat alongside former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his April 2017 visit to Moscow.

Following the meeting, Putin declared that he supported Trump in 2016, and didn't quite dispel belief he might hold leverage over Trump when he quipped: "I do know how dossiers are made up'. We know back in 2008 she accompanied then First Lady Laura Bush to Sochi". The two leaders met for almost two hours behind closed doors.

The continuing furor over President Donald Trump's Helsinki press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin is focusing a spotlight on a figure meant to be invisible in high-stakes diplomacy: the translator. At the time, Trump said he didn't see "any reason" why Russian Federation would interfere in the USA electoral process, contradicting conclusions from U.S. intelligence agencies as well as recent statements from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Trump walked back on this on Tuesday after he'd returned to the USA, stating he agreed with the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) on Tuesday evening called on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to subpoena Gross, who was the only other American in the room with Trump during his one-on-one meeting with Putin that reportedly lasted at least two hours.

After Mr. Trump said Monday in Helsinki that he doubted the US intelligence community's assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and said the USA interferes too, Democrats on social media and some current and former officials have accused Mr. Trump of treason and stated as fact that he's a compromised agent of the Kremlin.

'Serving as a translator, it has been reported that Ms. Marina Gross was the only other American in the room and so the sole reliable witness to the conversation between the two world leaders'. "We want to see the notes", Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told MSNBC.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, tweeted, "I'm calling for a hearing with the US interpreter who was present during President Trump's meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately".

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