The documentarian filming Donald Trump’s campaign in 2020 has revealed that Trump had a secret call with Russian President Vladimir Putin just 9 days before election day.
The documentarian, Alex Holder, had a scheduled interview with Trump on Air Force One on that day that was canceled at the last minute. According to Holder, then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told the filmmaker that the reason for the cancellation was that Trump was on the phone with the “President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.”
According to The Daily Beast, Holder doesn’t know what took place during the conversation but believes it to be connected to Putin dismissing Trump’s repeated — and baseless — allegations against Hunter Biden.
Those allegations eventually led to Trump’s first impeachment, when he tried to extort Ukraine’s President Zelensky for “dirt” on his opponent’s son.
The secret call with Putin that reportedly occurred on Air Force One wouldn’t be the first time a conversation between Trump and Putin raised eyebrows.
In 2019, The Washington Post reported that after a conversation between the two world leaders in 2017, Trump confiscated the notes from the interpreter who had been translating for him. This apparently happened more than once, since, according to The Post:
“U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years.”
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Trump publicly called for Putin to “look into” Hunter Biden, hoping to take advantage of the contentious, and at times antagonistic, relationship between Putin and Biden stemming from Biden’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s defense against the invading autocrat.
Back in March, Trump went on an unhinged tangent in an interview with far-right media network Real America Voice’s host, John Solomon:
Extended clip is worth watching: "As long as Putin is not exactly a fan of our country… I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it… you won't get the answer from Ukraine… I think Putin now would be willing to probably give that answer." pic.twitter.com/JFGcBk4Kxd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 30, 2022
Holder has been cooperating with the House Select Committee’s investigation into January 6th and the events leading up to the Capitol riot, turning over his footage to the investigative panel per a congressional subpoena.
My statement in response to being subpoenaed by Congress: pic.twitter.com/LOY53rEynI
— Alex Holder (@alexjholder) June 21, 2022
As the investigation and testimony move forward, the role Trump played in both inciting the violent attack and attempting to illegally overturn the 2020 election results are becoming clearer. What exactly Trump and Putin spoke about in the days before the coup attempt, however, is as mysterious as ever.
Original reporting by Dan Ladden-Hall at The Daily Beast.
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