NPR

Trump's Recently Disclosed Putin Conversation Is 'Nixon All Over Again'

Two interpreters who served a number of U.S. presidents, say a secrecy-obsessed Richard Nixon was the only president to routinely dispense with interpreters.

Harry Obst, who worked as a German interpreter for seven U.S. presidents through Bill Clinton, says he can only remember one of them who ever dispensed with an interpreter during discussions with a foreign leader: Richard Nixon.

It was a bad idea, for lots of reasons, the author of White House Interpreter: The Art of Interpretation, tells NPR.

And he says that also goes for President Trump, who acknowledged this week that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg, Germany, without an interpreter on the American side. "It was Nixon all over again," Obst says.

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