Allegations of election meddling loom large over historic meeting
HAMBURG, Germany — With broad grins and a warm handshake, US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin warmed up for their historic encounter on Friday under the shadow of US outrage about alleged Russian election meddling and nagging questions about potential Trump campaign collusion.
Ahead of a formal, sit-down meeting, Trump and Putin were seen exchanging pleasantries as a leaders’ retreat got underway in Hamburg.
As officials gathered around a table, Trump outstretched his hand to Putin and then patted his elbow and both men smiled. A brief video clip shows Trump casually patting Putin on the back as they stand side by side.
Video of the exchange was posted to Facebook by the German Cabinet. It was the first known in-person interaction between the two men, who have spoken by telephone since Trump was inaugurated in January.
The two leaders planned later on Friday to hold longer talks on Syria and other issues on the sidelines of the G20 summit of industrialized and developing nations.
The White House said it