Trump, Putin Met for Nearly an Hour in Second G20 Meeting

President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spoke for a second time on July 7 in a previously undisclosed discussion, the White House confirmed on Tuesday.

A senior White House official told CNN the discussion was “nearly an hour.” The White House, in a statement acknowledging the meeting, contended it was “brief” and said Trump spoke with Putin through Russia’s translator. The U.S. translator at the dinner – each country was only allowed only one – spoke Japanese, the White House said.
National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said no other staff were present for the discussion. The White House statement said the conversation took place in full view of other world leaders and their spouses at a dinner hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G20 summit. Trump was seated near Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Abe’s wife, while first lady Melania Trump was seated next to Putin, CNN reads.
The White House said Trump went over to his wife and spoke with Putin near the dinner’s end. The discussion came after their scheduled, two-hour-long bilateral meeting earlier that day.
The White House, in its statement, sought to downplay the significance of the discussion.
“It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president’s duties, to interact with world leaders,” the statement said.
The statement also disputed characterizing the discussion as a “second meeting,” but instead called it a “brief conversation.” Trump responded to reports of the meeting later Tuesday evening on Twitter.
“Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is “sick.” All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!” Trump tweeted, following it up with another, saying: “The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”

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