Russian government officials have spent the past two days touting important “verbal agreements” made between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at Monday’s summit in Helsinki, but U.S. officials appear to have no idea what they’re talking about.
On Tuesday, Russian military spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov said his country is ready “for practical implementation of the agreements … in the sphere of international security achieved at the Helsinki summit.” Then on Wednesday, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, spoke about “important verbal agreements” made at the summit concerning cooperation on Syria. And again on Thursday, Putin himself referenced the “useful agreements” that came from the meeting.
When CNN asked the National Security Council and Pentagon to comment on these agreements, neither provided any detail. And the Washington Post reported Wednesday that “officials at the most senior levels across the U.S. military [have been] scrambling since Monday to determine what Trump may have agreed to on national security issues.”
In a pair of tweets Thursday, Trump referenced “some of the many things discussed” in the summit, including terrorism, cyberattacks, and Ukraine,
The lack of clarity surrounding the “agreements” made in the one-on-one meeting is intensifying calls to have Trump’s translator testify in front of Congress. A number of lawmakers have called for Marina Gross, a State Department interpreter and the only other American in the meeting with Trump and Putin, to share with Congress what she heard in the meeting.
“We want the interpreter to come before the committee,” New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez told MSNBC. “We want to see the notes. We’re going to have a massive effort to try to get to what happened.”
Some of the lawmakers calling for Gross to testify have acknowledged that it’s an “unprecedented” step, but as Representative Joe Kennedy tweeted, “Our military scrambling to figure out what agreements our president made with an adversary is equally unprecedented.”