Hillary Clinton is confused about President Donald Trump’s motives in meeting repeatedly with Russian President Vladimir Putin، but she doesn’t feel good about them، News week magazine reported.
In an interview with Laurene Powell Jobs at Ozy Fest in New York City’s Central Park Saturday evening، Clinton expressed bewilderment over this week’s Helsinki meeting between the two world leaders. “The great mystery is why the president hasn’t spoken up for our country،” she said. “We don’t know what was said in the room with just the two of them.”
Clinton outlined her numerous meetings with Putin while serving as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. “There were always at least one or two other people with us، and most importantly، a notetaker،” she explained. “You particularly need a notetaker so there can be no mistake about what was said.” The lack of any official notes from this meeting is particularly troubling to Clinton، as she sees Putin discussing the details on an international stage with no verification or denial from the White House.
“What’s happening now is that Putin is basically telling the world what was decided in that room. He’s giving press statements، he’s calling in Russian ambassadors to other countries، he’s reaching out to other leaders،” she said. “Meanwhile، we’re hearing crickets from the White House. Nothing is being put out that is in any way contradictory or replacing the Putin agenda with whatever Trump was doing.” The lack of clarification is “alarming on many، many levels،” to Clinton، who doesn’t believe that Trump consulted with his Secretary of State or Director of National Intelligence before the meeting. “Make no mistake،” she warned، “this is a direct attack on our democracy. This idea that somehow we are not sure where our own president stands is deeply disturbing.”
Hardly “anybody who believes in freedom gets along with Putin because he is always trying to dominate and intimidate and direct how people and nations behave،” she said. “And in this case it doesn’t seem like our president cares، he wants to be friends with Putin for reasons that we’re all still trying to figure out.”
Russia، she explained، is attempting to disrupt the post-World War II order by making deliberate attempts to attack U.S. elections. She fears that if Russian intelligence agents think they can get away with it، they’ll soon infiltrate U.S. infrastructure as well. “We know they’ve been probing information about infrastructure، airports، water systems and nuclear plants،” she said. “This gives them more reason to probe and damage or destroy certain institutions in our economy and government.”
Clinton became visibly heated when asked discussing Putin’s request to interrogate former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. “The idea that the president even considered for a nanosecond turning over a former ambassador to Russia was simply unbelievable،” she said.
Later in the interview، the former first lady expressed her fear that the United States is losing its standing in the world، and that China might try to fill the void left in the Far East.
“A lot of damage has been done to America’s standing in the world. For our allies in Europe، Canada، Japan and South Korea there’s a lot of confusion and a lot of worry about what the Trump administration is doing and what it stands for،” she explained. “That has long term effects because if people stop trusting us and trusting our intentions and they no longer rely on us، which is what Europeans and others are saying، they begin to make other arrangements without us.”