A top Russian official in Moscow on Wednesday said that President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached some “important verbal agreements” during their summit in Finland earlier this week.
“Russian official: Trump and Putin reached ‘verbal agreements’”
— New York Post (@nypost) July 19, 2018
Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov made the statements about the verbal agreements but Trump administration officials appeared to be unaware of such agreements and were caught off guard by Antonov’s comments.
According to Antonov the handshake deals covered a range of subjects, including the New START and INF arms control pacts.
Antonov also said that Trump and Putin discussed the United States and Russia doing joint military exercises to fight terrorism in Syria, according to the Washington Post.
“It seemed to me, my impression was that the U.S. side listened … with interest,” Antonov said. He also reported that Putin and Trump talked about a deal Russia has with Israel to keep Iranian proxy forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad at least 50 miles away from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.
Senior U.S. military officials, however, on Wednesday said that they had not received any information about deals that would include U.S. military commitments.
At the Pentagon press officers were unable to answer the media’s questions about how the summit would impact the U.S. military.
The lack of information exposed a significant and potentially dangerous gap in communications within the Trump administration. Right now there is great uncertainty surrounding the idea of a new arrangement regarding Syria. At the same time, Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, is briefing reporters on Syria today.
Adding to the uncertainty and confusion, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did not attend Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting in the White House. He also has not made any public appearances this week and has not commented on the summit.
“When we are able to provide more details, we will, but rest assured, the U.S. Department of Defense remains laser focused on the defense of our nation,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.
For now, the American people will have to try to “rest assured” based on empty promises from the Pentagon news office. In truth most Americans will not rest easy until we find out exactly what promises Donald Trump made to his handler Vladimir Putin on Monday.