Marina Gross was President Donald Trump’s interpreter during his one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and now some Democrats want to subpoena Gross to see what she knows.
Marina Goss has worked as a U.S. State Department interpreter. Gross was the only other person present during the private Putin and Trump meeting in Helsinki (other than possibly a Putin translator). The meeting lasted for two hours and what was said at it is of keen interest to a lot of people after the controversies surrounding Trump’s public press conference with the Russian president.
Although many are calling Marina Gross a translator, there is a technical difference between a translator and interpreter; “the interpreter translates orally, while a translator interprets written text,” according to Language Scientific.
Here’s what you need to now:
Marina Gross Has Interpreted for Former First Lady Laura Bush in the Past
Kaitlan Collins, a CNN reporter covering the White House, wrote on Twitter, “President Trump does have his own interpreter in the room for the Putin meeting, a White House official tells me. It’s Marina Gross, who has previously translated for the State Department and former first lady Laura Bush.”
According to TMZ, “Gross has worked for the State Dept. for years. We know back in 2008 she accompanied then First Lady Laura Bush to Sochi.” TMZ also reported that Gross “served as a translator for then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson back in April 2017 in Moscow.”
The State Department confirmed the trip in a photo (which you can see below) posted to Flickr that was captioned, “U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and members of the U.S. delegation listen to opening remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ahead of their bilateral meeting in Moscow, Russia, on April 12, 2017. Pictured right to left: U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft, interpreter Marina Gross, Secretary Tillerson, Chief of Staff Margaret Peterlin, and senior advisers Brian Hook and R.C. Hammond.”
In Helsinki, Marina Gross was also one of the few people present at a bilateral and working lunch between Putin and Trump.
“With Trump are Fiona Hill, who is on the National Security Council; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; translator Marina Gross, who has previously translated for the State Department and other government entities; US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman; and national security adviser John Bolton. Chief of Staff John Kelly is seated at the front end of the table,” reported CNN.
Some Democrats Want to Subpoena Marina Gross
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, tweeted, “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.”
Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III said that Congress should subpoena Marina Goss to testify if the White House doesn’t release a “readout” of the Putin and Trump conversation, according to CNN.
On July 16, 2018, Kennedy also wrote, “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. 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.”
U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) penned a letter to Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC-04) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, “demanding the Committee hear public testimony from Marina Gross, the United States’ interpreter for Donald Trump in his meeting on July 16, 2018 with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland,” according to a press release.
“I write to urge you to request a hearing with the American translator to testify publicly before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the details of Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018,” Pascrell wrote the committee leaders.
He added, “Given this history, the American people deserve to know if Trump used his position or this meeting with Putin to continue to pursue his own financial interests,” Pascrell writes. “We need public testimony by the only American present at this meeting to ensure Trump did not further undermine our intelligence or law enforcement communities.”