What Did Trump Tell Putin in Private? Democrats Fight to Question the 'Only Other American in the Room'

Democratic lawmakers are calling for hearings and testimony from the interpreter who sat in on President Donald Trump's one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to find out exactly what the two leaders discussed behind closed doors.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, as well as Representative Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, each issued separate statements in the two days since Trump suggested he trusted Putin's denials of meddling in the 2016 election over the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community.

And Representative Bill Pascrell of New Jersey called out the translator, Marina Gross, as the "only other American in the room." In a letter to the House Oversight Committee issued Wednesday, Pascrell urged the committee chair, Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, to hold a hearing and for Gross to appear.

Kennedy chimed in almost immediately after Trump and Putin's joint press conference in Helsinki, during which the president stated he did not "see any reason why it would be" Russia who interfered in the 2016 election.

Kennedy claimed Trump had "sold out our security, democracy and credibility" and added that the president's translator "should come before Congress."

"It's a sad day when America can't count on its President. @potus sold out our security, democracy and credibility—to an adversary who continues to attack our nation and undermine our values," Kennedy tweeted Monday. "And that was only what we saw on live TV. @realDonaldTrump 's translator should come before Congress and testify as to what was said privately immediately. If Republicans are as outraged as they claim, then issue the subpoena today."

It’s a sad day when America can’t count on its President. @potus sold out our security, democracy and credibility— to an adversary who continues to attack our nation and undermine our values. 1/2

— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 16, 2018

And that was only what we saw on live TV. @realDonaldTrump’s translator should come before Congress and testify as to what was said privately immediately. If Republicans are as outraged as they claim, then issue the subpoena today. 2/2

— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 16, 2018

Shaheen echoed Kennedy's call for a hearing in order to "uncover" what Trump and Putin spoke about in private.

"I'm calling for a hearing with the U.S. interpreter who was present during President Trump's meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately. This interpreter can help determine what @POTUS shared/promised Putin on our behalf," Shaheen tweeted Tuesday.

I’m calling for a hearing with the U.S. interpreter who was present during President Trump’s meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately. This interpreter can help determine what @POTUS shared/promised Putin on our behalf.

— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) July 17, 2018

Menendez, in separate interviews, clamored for not only the interpreter's testimony but also notes as part of a "massive effort" to unearth what was discussed.

"We want the interpreter to come before the committee. We want to see the notes. We're gonna have a massive effort to try to get to what happened," Menendez told MSNBC on Wednesday, reiterating previous comments he made about wanting to hold public hearings over the Trump-Putin summit.

On Tuesday, Menendez had fleshed out exactly what else he wanted Congress to find out, including any potential deals or discussions involving NATO military exercises and Ukraine.

"Did he make any agreements on sanctions? Did he make any agreement on Ukraine? Did he make any agreement on Syria? Did he agree to ultimately move away from American leadership in those three places in the world?" Menendez told NorthJersey.com.

Menendez added: "We need to know whether he agreed not to have NATO exercises. These are the kinds of things that we need to know that go to the very heart of our security because it's very clear that the president was a supplicant to an authoritarian figure in Putin instead of standing up for our democracy, standing up for our security."

Amid criticism from Democrats and Republicans, Trump attempted to clarify his remarks Tuesday by claiming he had simply misspoke and should have said there was no reason it "wouldn't" be Russia instead of "would."

But the president also took to Twitter Wednesday to lash out against his critics who he claims "would rather go to war" than see he and Putin get along.

"Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It's called Trump Derangement Syndrome!" the president tweeted.

Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018