President Trump, Jeff Mason President Putin, Russia discussed on Target USA Podcast by WTOP

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

So we have an interest of questioning them back to you, Jeff Mason President Putin seemed to be a bit combative there. No. Did he did? And I think you know, President Putin doesn't take tough questions from journalists, very often. He does occasionally have these really long press conferences. But I, I think that the having a tough question from an American reporter is probably not something he gets on a regular basis and he bristle that a little bit, and but he was also pretty direct. I mean to my last question to him when I asked, did you want President Trump to win the election? He gave a very clear response, which was yes, I did. And did you get from that because because because because what I heard was did you want President Trump to win the election? And did you instruct your people to help him? That was correct me if I'm wrong. That was the full question right. No, you're right. That is exactly right. That is the full question and I, I don't know how to interpret the answer. Yes, I did. I think there's one interpretation and it's probably the most logical, which is that he didn't hear the second part of my question. And the reason I think that's logical as he had spent a good chunk of his answer earlier saying there had been no collusion and the same way the President Trump had that said, I did. You're right. I said in my question, did you want him to win? And did you destructive wanted to help him? And his answer was, yes, I did. So you could interpret that as being not only did he response to the first question, but the second one is well. President Putin said several times or at least one time in this conversation that he's a former intelligence officer, and you know, some people interpreted that as a dog whistle. Essentially, listen, I knew what I'm doing here and I know what it is that I want you to get from this, and I understand very well how to answer these questions, even though supposedly your intelligence community has all this intelligence on us and has indicted twenty-five of my friends, but I'm still not going to say to you, anything that you can use to essentially put me in the in the heart of this. What was your thinking after he did the circuitous answer to your questions and your your colleagues questions? Well, you know, I just think I think President Putin is is very smart and very happy to show the confidence that he has, and he's a politician in addition to being a former spy and the KGB leader. And so he he knows how to get around tough questions, but he also knows how to show dominance. And I think I think it was a chunk of all of those things that he was displaying in those answers. And I, I got your Email after the press. I hadn't senior year suggested question before I started, but I do think both his responses and President Trump's responses to both my question and the questions from my colleague, Jonathan Lemaire from the AP. Will go down as as pretty historic, no doubt. It was just a really unique and stunning moment I can guarantee you that because yes, you did get my Email a little little apron. I'm at least glad you here. I did here in Washington, the stunned nature of Washington. I mean, it was palpable. You could feel it all over the place during that whole news conference watching social media, the phones were ringing emails or popping. I mean, this was a historic moment, and I'm just wondering if you had any clue, something like that was going to happen when you walked into that news conference because we knew there was a possibility for something crazy to happen, but we're expecting anything like that. No. I mean, the answer to that is no, I was not. And I think that perhaps after a year and a half of covering President Trump, one should expect that more, but it there was just it was you mentioned the sense of being stunned from watching it from afar, there was a definite sense of being stunned within the room, and part of that is the context. The not only was President Trump standing next to the. The the leader of Russia, but President Trump's advisers had set up that press conference had set up that summit by saying to us to reporters in in in the preparatory call ahead time I met the president would focus on Russia's malign activities.

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