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WorldPutin out-prepared Trump in key meeting, Rex Tillerson told House panel

03:50  23 may  2019
03:50  23 may  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Trump says will meet Putin, Xi at G20 summit in Japan

Trump says will meet Putin, Xi at G20 summit in Japan President Donald Trump said Monday he expects to meet with the presidents of Russia and China next month at the Group of 20 summit in Japan. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); As the trade conflict with China escalates, Trump said of the expected encounter with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, "we'll be meeting at the G20 in Japan. And that will be I think probably a very fruitful meeting.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke to reporters after the high-stakes meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin . Listen to

“ Trump ’s choice of Rex Tillerson suggests he wants to make good on his promise to cut deals with Russia instead of containing it,” said Thomas Wright “ Tillerson has a relationship with Putin and he opposed the sanctions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea. This will alarm those

Putin out-prepared Trump in key meeting, Rex Tillerson told House panel© Andrew Harnik/AP Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson spent several hours with the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week. Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes.

The U.S. side expected the 2017 encounter to be shorter, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning, two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a range of geopolitical issues, said committee aides, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tillerson’s seven-hour closed meeting with the panel.

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Meanwhile, Trump and Putin had "positive chemistry" during their first meeting , Tillerson said First Lady Melania Trump was sent into the meeting at one point to see her husband and "get him out ," Tillerson Tillerson told reporters that the White House has been engaging in a “peaceful pressure

The U.S. and Russia have been trading barbs since President Donald Trump ordered airstrikes on the Assad regime’s military assets in Syria last week, but

“We spent a lot of time in the conversation talking about how Putin seized every opportunity to push what he wanted,” a committee aide said. “There was a discrepancy in preparation and it created an unequal footing.”

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Tillerson, whose public remarks about the president have been sparse since his dramatic firing in March 2018, spoke to a bipartisan group of lawmakers and staffers Tuesday at the request of the chairman of the committee, Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.).

Committee aides peppered the former oilman with questions about the session in Hamburg. Unlike in Helsinki last summer, when Trump met with Putin without other officials present, Tillerson attended the Hamburg meeting, giving him rare insight into the two leaders’ interactions. Experts said the disparity in preparation was unsurprising but risky given Putin’s depth of experience and savvy.

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Rex Tillerson seen in Nairobi on Saturday. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/AFP/Getty Images. Trump was asked twice if he had fired Tillerson “because he A senior White House official told reporters the firing was related to “upcoming talks with North Korea and various ongoing trade negotiations”.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 major economies in Hamburg that Trump had “positive chemistry” with Putin Afterwards the reporters were ushered out and the meeting continued. “President Putin and I have been discussing various things

“Putin is a very nimble adversary who’s been at this for 20 years now,” said Andrew Weiss, a Russia scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The Hamburg meeting sounds like it was one of Putin’s wildest dreams: a freewheeling backroom-style conversation with a U.S. president.”

In the past, Trump has downplayed the importance of preparation, saying his gut instinct and ability to read a room is paramount for a successful summit.

“I don’t think I have to prepare very much,” Trump said ahead of his historic first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last year. “It’s about attitude, it’s about willingness to get things done. So this isn’t a question of preparation, it’s a question of whether or not people want it to happen, and we’ll know that very quickly.”

Tillerson told the committee that he believed there was more the United States needed to do to counter Russia on the global stage, said a person who was in the room.

Tillerson quietly meets with House lawmakers to discuss Trump

Tillerson quietly meets with House lawmakers to discuss Trump Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson quietly met with the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday for an interview that focused primarily on his time in the Trump administration, a congressional aide with direct knowledge of the discussion confirmed to CNN. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Tillerson traveled to Capitol Hill where he sat down with the committee's Democratic chairman Rep. Eliot Engel and ranking Republican Rep.

The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson , lobbied against extending sanctions The return of the two compounds was reportedly among the “deliverables” Trump ordered aides to prepare ahead of his meeting with Putin , although the idea of offering such concessions has met fierce resistance in the

Though Donald Trump has spoken with Putin by phone, the meeting was believed to be the first between Putin and a top member of Trump ’s administration since the new Rex Tillerson and Sergei Lavrov ahead of their bilateral meeting in Russia. Photograph: Us Department Of State Handout/EPA.

When asked about the former secretary’s remarks, a Republican committee aide said that “we believe Tillerson’s testimony best speaks for itself, and are hopeful that our Democrat Chairman will release the full transcript of the meeting to the public soon.”

Committee aides said that Tillerson refrained from openly disparaging the president but that his inability to answer certain questions was revealing.

In one exchange, Tillerson said he and the president “shared a common goal: to secure and advance America’s place in the world and to promote and protect American values.”

“Those American values — freedom, democracy, individual liberty and human dignity — are the North Star that guided every action I took at the State Department,” Tillerson said, according to a person in the room.

Upon questioning, Tillerson clarified that although he and the president shared the same goal, they did not share the same “value system.”

When asked to describe Trump’s values, Tillerson said, “I cannot,” the person said.

“Just as matter of fact, he stated that he couldn’t or wouldn’t unpack the president’s values for us,” a committee aide said.

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Tillerson said Trump opened the more than two hour meeting by questioning Moscow's cyber intrusions in America's political system. Tillerson departed the briefing room after leaving unanswered questions about whether Trump accepted Putin 's denial of election meddling.

Rex Tillerson briefed reporters after the leaders met Friday at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. After the face-to-face, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson , who also attended the meeting , spoke to reporters along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and press secretary Sean Spicer.

It was not the first time Tillerson declined to defend the president’s values. In 2017, Fox News host Chris Wallace spoke to Tillerson about the deadly violence in Charlottesville, after Trump said “both sides” — white supremacists and the people protesting them — were responsible.

“I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values,” Tillerson said.

“And the president’s values?” Wallace asked.

“The president speaks for himself,” Tillerson said, a response that reportedly infuriated Trump.

Tillerson, who tangled repeatedly with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, did not question the motives of the president’s familial adviser, but said Kushner should’ve consulted more often with State Department colleagues and that his lack of knowledge of history exposed him to being outmaneuvered, said a person who was in the room. He also said Kushner did not follow traditional diplomatic protocols, which made it difficult to understand what he was doing with world leaders.

A senior administration official contested that assertion, saying that “Jared, the White House, and the NSC [National Security Council] did coordinate with the State Department. The problem was Rex Tillerson couldn’t figure out how to coordinate with the State Department.”

Committee staffers were interested in how Middle East foreign policy was made, asking detailed questions about Kushner and Elliott Broidy, a top fundraiser and ally of Trump whose office was raided by federal investigators last year in a search for records about his dealings with Trump administration associates. Broidy has ties with the United Arab Emirates, a Persian Gulf ally that has worked closely with Kushner and has aligned itself with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump and Tillerson sparred behind the scenes for months before Trump fired him in a tweet. But their public rapport took a dramatic turn in December when Tillerson told CBS that Trump did not read much and had issued directives that were against the law.

Trump responded in a tweet that Tillerson was “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.”

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Russia's Putin, Japan's Abe to hold summit meet on June 29.
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