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Juliette Kayyem: Trump's Meeting With Putin Was 'Purposefully Not Disclosed'

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U.S. President Donald Trump met twice Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Hamburg.
Evan Vucci/AP
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It was revealed Tuesday that President Trump had an undisclosed second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit earlier this month.

Reports indicate that the hour-long meeting took place during a G20 banquet and only consisted of Putin, Trump and a Kremlin interpreter.

President Trump denied the meeting in a tweet saying, “Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is 'sick.' All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!”

Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is "sick." All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017

National security expert Juliette Kayyem told Boston Public Radio Wednesday that the meeting was purposefully undisclosed and understaffed to prevent leaking of unflattering information.

"Whatever communications [Trump] wanted with Putin, he only wanted Putin and the interpreter to know,” Kayyem said.

While some news pundits have criticized Trump’s decision to not alert the press to the meeting as rookie or freshman mistake, Kayyem believes that Trump and his family are smarter than people give them credit for.

“I don’t subscribe to the lucky idiot's theory of the Trump administration. I think a lot of people on TV are guilty of that. I believe Donald Trump knows exactly what he is doing,” Kayyem said.

Kayyem said she does not know yet what this second meeting was about, but she did say that it is clear what Trump is doing for Putin. “He is enabling Puting for 2018 and 2020,” she said.

National security expert Juliette Kayyem is the host of the SCIF podcast and a contributor to CNN and WGBH. She’s founder of Kayyem Solutions and the author of "Security Mom." To hear her interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.
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