Putin hired an attractive female translator to 'distract' Trump during a summit, Stephanie Grisham book says
- A book by a former Trump press secretary has new details of a 2019 meeting with Putin.
- Per The New York Times, it says an aide thought Putin tried to distract Trump with an attractive woman.
- Putin has been said to use mind games and other ploys to secure an advantage in meetings.
Her memoir, "I'll Take Your Questions Now," set to be released next week, details Trump and Putin's meeting at the summit in Osaka, Japan, according to The New York Times, which published excerpts from it on Tuesday.
Grisham said that during the meeting, Fiona Hill, a White House advisor on Russia who was later a witness at Trump's first impeachment trial, turned to her to point out the ways Putin was trying to throw Trump off balance.
"As the meeting began,
"She proceeded to tell me that she suspected the woman had been selected by Putin specifically to distract our president."
Footage of their meeting at the summit that Insider reviewed showed a translator who matched that description sitting opposite Trump.
A video by the Russian state-backed video agency Ruptly showed Trump watching as the woman translated Putin's words into English.
Trump's relationship with Putin was the subject of intense scrutiny during Trump's term, as US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had launched a campaign to covertly help Trump win the White House in 2016.
Other reports and books have detailed attempts by Putin, a former Russian intelligence officer, to outfox Trump in meetings and phone calls.
Greg Miller's 2018 book, "The Apprentice," said Putin sought to exploit what he perceived to be Trump's personal weaknesses and encourage Trump's fears about a "deep state" of US officials plotting against him.
Trump has expressed admiration for authoritarian leaders such as Putin. Grisham's book reportedly says Trump told Putin at a meeting that he would pretend to adopt a tough tone with him for the sake of the cameras.
In a statement on Tuesday, Trump hit back at Grisham over the claims in the book without addressing any of them directly.
"Stephanie didn't have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning," Trump said, claiming that she had become "very angry and bitter" after a breakup.
"She had big problems and we felt that she should work out those problems for herself," Trump said. "Now, like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things."
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