Trump and Putin held a second, undisclosed, private meeting

Trump and Putin held a second, undisclosed, private meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a second, previously undisclosed conversation during a dinner for G20 leaders at a summit earlier this month in Germany, a White House official confirms. "The insinuation that the White House has tried to "hide" a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd". It said Trump spoke with Putin through a Russian translator.

The lack of a USA translator raised eyebrows among other leaders at the dinner, said Bremmer, who called it a "breach of national security protocol".

White House officials did not respond to repeated inquiries about the nature or substance of the conversation, but one confirmed that it had occurred without offering any details, and insisted on anonymity because the discussion was private.

"At the dinner, President Trump was seated between Mrs Abe, wife of the Prime Minister of Japan, and Mrs Macri, wife of the President of Argentina".

The official stressed that Trump spoke with many leaders over the course of the dinner and said he spoke briefly with Putin, who was seated next to first lady Melania Trump, as the event was concluding.

The two presidents met face-to-face for the first time in Hamburg on July 7, for more than two hours of talks that were extensively covered at the time.

The White House had a sharply different account of what happened.

"It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president's duties, to interact with world leaders", the statement continued. All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany.

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Trump lingered for more than an hour after the dinner was scheduled to conclude and departed the dinner venue about four minutes after Putin's motorcade.

"Pretty much everyone at the dinner thought this was really weird, that here is the president of the United States, who clearly wants to display that he has a better relationship personally with President Putin than any of us, or simply doesn't care", Bremmer was quoted as saying by The New York Times.

U.S. presidents at summits often hold private and impromptu discussions with other world leaders. "Maybe Trump and Putin are a little different", the official added.

John Kirby, who was a spokesman for the State Department during the Barack Obama administration, said the lack of a USA translator or other support meant the U.S. would be without a scrupulous translation or a record of what was discussed. But he also pointed out potentially problematic aspects of the meeting.

Then, at a couples-only dinner at the G20, Trump and Putin spoke alone, with the exception of translators, National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said.

The only version of the conversation provided to White House aides was that given by Trump himself, said the administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity before the White House statement was issued.

Trump initiated the meeting by leaving his seat in the Hamburg Philharmonic to sit next to Putin.

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