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New Book Claims Trump Was Itching To Meet Putin Before The Inauguration


According to a Washington Post report Wednesday, one of those moments captured in “A Very Stable Genius,” written by Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig, include the President being eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin before his inauguration. The book reports “that during the transition he interrupts an interview with one of his secretary of state candidates” to ask about setting up a meeting.

“When can I meet Putin? Can I meet with him before the inaugural ceremony?” Trump asked, according to the book.

The book also recalled that after Trump and Putin met in person for the first time at the Group of 20 summit in 2017, the President began touting himself as a Russia expert and dismissed the expertise of his then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who previously worked with Putin while climbing up the ExxonMobil corporate ladder and doing business with Russia.

“Tillerson’s years of negotiating with Putin and studying his moves on the chessboard were suddenly irrelevant,” the authors wrote, according to the Post. “‘I have had a two-hour meeting with Putin,’ Trump told Tillerson. ‘That’s all I need to know. . . . I’ve sized it all up. I’ve got it.’”

One government aide told the authors that Trump “ruined that magic” that used to surround the presidency.

“The disdain he shows for our country’s foundation and its principles. The disregard he has for right and wrong. Your fist clenches. Your teeth grate,” the aide said, according to the book.

In an author’s note, the Post reporters wrote that the book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with more than 200 sources. Although Trump initially committed to an interview for the book, the authors wrote that he ultimately declined.

Read the Washington Post’s report here.

About The Author


Summer Concepcion is the front page editor of Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Previously, she covered the 2016 presidential election for Fusion and worked as a researcher at The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. She's an LA native and former Chicago transplant. Reach her at