- “Putin said confidently, following a long-standing Russian propaganda line, that up to 5,000 “locals” near At Tanf were, in fact, ISIS fighters, who would ostensibly follow American direction, but then betray us when it suited them. (Putin said the ISIS fighters would kiss a certain part of our anatomy, although his interpreter didn’t translate it that way!) I thought this exchange on the situation in Syria was the most interesting of the entire meeting. Referring to the Syrian Opposition, Putin pressed strongly that they were not reliable allies for us, and could not be trusted from one day to the next. Instead, he urged that we advance the Syrian peace process. I said our priorities were to destroy ISIS and remove all Iranian forces. We were not fighting Syria’s civil war; our priority was Iran.”
- “Putin also raised the subject of North Korea, where Russia supported the “action for action” approach the North wanted, but he basically seemed less than fully interested in the issue. On Iran, he scoffed at our withdrawal from the nuclear deal, wondering, now that the United States had withdrawn, what would happen if Iran withdrew? ” (can't disagree there, Trump fucked up - MarcusAurelioFan)
“. I said it was politically toxic for Trump to meet with Putin, but he was doing so to safeguard US national interests regardless of the political consequences, and to see if he could advance the relationship. After a few closing pleasantries, the roughly ninety-minute meeting ended. Putin struck me as totally in control, calm, self-confident, whatever Russia’s domestic economic and political challenges might have been. He was totally knowledgeable on Moscow’s national-security priorities. I was not looking forward to leaving him alone in a room with Trump.