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GOP Strategist Explains Trump’s ‘Disturbing’ Private Meetings With Putin: He ‘Does Not Trust His Own Staff’

Morning Joe discussed President Donald Trump‘s conversation tactics with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, and a Republican panelist suggested Trump doesn’t trust his own staff.

“Why is it that the translator’s never from the American side,” asked host Joe Scarborough, regarding the president’s meetings with Putin. “Why is it that if there’s to be one translator, always a translator for Vladimir Putin but never a translator for the American side?”

Republican strategist Susan Del Percio responded she didn’t think Trump trusted his personnel to accurately and honestly translate his words from English to Russian.

“President Trump does not trust the Intel community, he does not trust his own staff,” said Del Percio. “I mean, this goes back to Jared Kushner wanting to back channel with the Russians right after the election. This is something he’s always wanted to have, as an open line of communication.”

Del Percio then emphasized the importance of Tuesday’s national security hearing, in which officials vowed to be “honest and straightforward” about their work. Another panelist took what he described as a “darker spin” on Del Percio’s speculation, saying the reason Trump communicates without a translator is because he doesn’t want Americans knowing what he’s talking about.

“Trump, for whatever reason, whatever he’s talking to with Vladimir Putin is stuff he does not want any American to know about,” said MSNBC’s John Heilemann. “That raises all kind of — it’s a slightly chilling thing that this happens every time he meets with Putin. It’s not reported initially, it’s not read out to the press, and he has no one from the American government ever present. That pattern is truly unsettling and disturbing.”

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