Key Republican looking at whether Trump translator should come before Congress

Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he is looking into whether it is approp...

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 5:02 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 5:02 AM

Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he is looking into whether it is appropriate to ask President Donald Trump's translator from the one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to testify or turn over her notes from the summit.

Corker says Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, raised the idea with him and that he is looking into precedent for such a request.

"Look, all of us want to know what took place in this meeting," Corker said. "We're looking into precedent there. ... These are notes taken by translators, you understand in a meeting. I'm not sure it's even appropriate. We're checking that. If it is, certainly we'll pursue it."

On Tuesday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, proposed the idea of bringing the translator before Congress to testify about the one-on-one meeting with Putin, a private discussion that has left lawmakers on both sides of the aisle uneasy after Trump came out publicly Monday and said Putin was convincing in his denial that Russia meddled in the US election. Trump has since tried to walk his comments back.

Since Shaheen floated the idea, other Democrats, including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, have also endorsed bringing the translator before Congress.

"This is a moment where we should have access to what happened in that private meeting," Booker said. "I support what Sen. Shaheen is trying to do."

But the question is whether such a testimony would be either protected by executive privilege or whether it would have to take place in a classified setting. Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona who has been critical of Trump's performance with Putin, told reporters he'd like to see the translator's notes, but only in a classified setting.

"There are typically notes that are taken," Flake said. "I'm assuming that some of the information could only be given in a classified setting so I would think that before the relevant committees, I'm not saying it ought to be done in a public hearing, we at least ought to get access to the notes that the translators keep."

Another Republican senator -- John Thune of South Dakota -- said having the translator give testimony was "highly unlikely."

"The translator is somebody who, one, is probably not versed in the policy and is going to be able to explain the nuances of what went on there," said Thune, who is a member of Senate GOP leadership. "And I think probably just concentrated on that the translation was being done effectively. I think the Democrats are obviously fishing here to try to keep this story alive. I'm just don't know what that accomplishes. I think if you had somebody in there who was actually a policy person who could talk about the issues they discussed and that sort of thing."

He added, "But, I mean, seems to me asking the translator is a bit of a stretch."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
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Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
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Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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