National security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview broadcast early Sunday that President Trump hoped to find areas of cooperation during a meeting with Russian officials earlier this month.
McMaster was asked on ABC’s “This Week” about a report that Trump referred to former FBI Director James Comey during a meeting with the Russian foreign minister as “crazy” and a “real nut job” and said he “faced great pressure because of Russia.”
“Well, I don’t remember exactly what the president said. And the notes that there apparently have I do not think are a direct transcript,” McMaster said.
“But the gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news.”
He said that was Trump’s “intention” in that part of the conversation.
McMaster said he didn’t know before Trump’s meeting with the Russian officials that the president was going to bring up Comey’s firing.
“But as I mentioned, he raised it in the context of explaining that that he has been he feels as if he’s been unable to find areas of cooperation with Russia, even as he confronts them in key areas where they’re being disruptive, like Syria for example,” McMaster said.