At least two Congressional Democrats want President Trump’s interpreter to testify about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
So curious are Democrats to learn what was said in Monday’s private meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin — there were no other officials in the room; only each man’s translator — that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Joe Kennedy III have each made the unusual request.
“I’m calling for a hearing with the U.S. interpreter who was present during President Trump’s meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately. This interpreter can help determine what @POTUS shared/promised Putin on our behalf,” Ms. Shaheen, New Hampshire Democrat, wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
I’m calling for a hearing with the U.S. interpreter who was present during President Trump’s meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately. This interpreter can help determine what @POTUS shared/promised Putin on our behalf.— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) July 17, 2018
Neither Ms. Shaheen nor Mr. Kennedy, who issued a similar demand Monday, addressed the matter of whether such testimony would be compatible with the translator’s professional ethics or government rules.
After Mr. Trump said Monday in Helsinki that he doubted the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and said the U.S. 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.
Reacting to the meeting at the time, Mr. Kennedy wrote over two tweets that the U.S. president “sold out our security, democracy and credibility … And that was only what we saw on live TV.”
“@realDonaldTrump’s translator should come before Congress and testify as to what was said privately immediately. If Republicans are as outraged as they claim, then issue the subpoena today,” he demanded.
It’s a sad day when America can’t count on its President. @potus sold out our security, democracy and credibility— to an adversary who continues to attack our nation and undermine our values. 1/2— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 16, 2018
Republicans did not issue that subpoena Monday.
Republicans control both houses of Congress and its investigative panels, meaning the two Democrats’ calls to get Mr. Trump’s translator to testify will have no effect unless Republicans also support it.
• Victor Morton can be reached at email@example.com.
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