Trump and Putin held second, undisclosed hour-long talk

19 July, 2017, 09:07 | Author: Pamela Mathis

Trump's interactions with the Russian leader were scrutinized closely because of those allegations, which have dominated his first six months in the White House, and Trump's comments as a presidential candidate praising the former KGB spy. They later held the bilateral meeting, which was attended briefly by a pool of reporters.

The concert and dinner were publicly announced on both the President's schedule and the G20 schedule, with the clear understanding that all visiting leaders would be present, it added.

At one point, First Lady Melania Trump entered the room to hurry them along.

Trump tweeted on July 9: 'Sanctions were not discussed at my meeting with President Putin.

They held talks after a formal sit down but the White House has not revealed details of what they discussed.

At the formal meeting, their first face-to-face encounter, Mr Trump said he repeatedly pressed Mr Putin about the allegations of interference in the United States vote. The administration had previously failed to disclose the talk, which reportedly lasted about an hour, though a meeting between the two world leaders that lasted a little over two hours and also took place at the G-20 summit on the same day was highly publicized.

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But it has now emerged that Trump and Putin had a second discussion during a dinner that same evening for the heads of state from the Group of 20 and their spouses.

The second conversation was first reported by Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group during an interview with Charlie Rose on Bloomberg. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on their findings and dismissed investigations into potential collusion between his campaign and Moscow as a "witch hunt". He says the dinner was attended by only leaders, spouses, and translators. According to Bremmer, Trump, who was sitting next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, got up midway through the dinner and sat next to Putin, talking "privately and animatedly". His translator spoke Japanese.

Afterwards, Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov claimed Mr Trump accepted Mr Putin's assurances that Russia did not meddle in the USA presidential election - a claim later denied by the White House.

"No one is sure what their discussion was about, and whether it was purely social or touched on bilateral or global issues", the official said.

The only version of what was discussed was provided to White House officials by Mr Trump himself, as there were no other USA aides present at the conversation.

Last week, the news was dominated by reports of a meeting in June 2016 between Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, and a series of Russians including a Kremlin-linked lawyer; a former Soviet spy; a translator previously investigated for money laundering; and a second Russian translator.

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