Trump had undisclosed hour-long meeting with Putin at G-20 summit

Trump had undisclosed hour-long meeting with Putin at G-20 summit

After his much-publicized two-and-a-quarter-hour meeting early this month with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Trump chatted informally with the Russian leader for up to an additional hour later the same day.


The second meeting, undisclosed at the time, took place at a dinner for G-20 leaders, a senior administration official said. At some point during the meal, Trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to Putin. Trump approached alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter.

In a statement issued Tuesday night after published reports of the conversation, the White House said that “there was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting,” it said, “is false, malicious and absurd.”

All the leaders” circulated around the room throughout the dinner, and “President Trump spoke with many leaders,” the statement said. “As the dinner was concluding,” it said, Trump spoke “briefly” with Putin, who was seated next to first lady Melania Trump.

The dinner conversation with Putin was first reported Monday by Ian Bremmer, president of the New York-based Eurasia Group, in a newsletter to group clients. Bremmer said the meeting began “halfway” into the meal and lasted “roughly an hour.” The senior administration official said it began with the dessert course, but did not comment on its length.

Pool reporters covering Trump noted that his and Putin’s motorcades were among the last to leave the event, departing within minutes of each other just before midnight.

Trump lashed out at the media for reporting on his undisclosed meeting with Putin, saying the “fake news” was “sick” and “dishonest.”

But the president distorted what news outlets, including The Washington Post, had reported, saying the story was about a “secret dinner” when in fact it was reported as an undisclosed meeting with Putin at a dinner of the G-20 leaders and their spouses. Trump also incorrectly stated that journalists knew about his meeting with Putin; in fact, they did not until Tuesday, when the White House confirmed that the two presidents met during the dinner.

Source: washingtonpost

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