Trump says sec­ond con­ver­sa­tion with Putin lasted 15 min­utes

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — The White House and Krem­lin on Wednes­day played down the sig­nif­i­cance of an ad­di­tional, pre­vi­ously undis­closed meet­ing be­tween Don­ald Trump and Vladimir Putin dur­ing this month’s G20 Sum­mit in Ham­burg, Ger­many.

The two pow­ers united in their condemnation of re­ports ques­tion­ing why the meet­ing was not dis­closed.

“Once again, the Rus­sia fever has caught up with the me­dia and every­body ran out and tried to cre­ate a story that sim­ply didn’t ex­ist,” White House spokes­woman Sarah San­ders said.

That mes­sage was echoed by her Krem­lin coun­ter­part Dmitry Peskov. “The use of the terms ‘se­cret’ or ‘con­fi­den­tial’ for this meet­ing pro­vokes ab­so­lute sur­prise and in­com­pre­hen­sion.”

The meet­ing had been “of­fi­cially ac­cepted” by di­plo­matic chan­nels, he added in com­ments re­ported by the Rus­sia’s TASS news agency.

“There was no se­cret and con­fi­den­tial meet­ing,” he said. “To say so is ab­so­lutely ab­surd.”

Trump said on Wednes­day that his sec­ond con­ver­sa­tion with Putin was an ex­change of “pleas­antries” that lasted 15 min­utes.

Speak­ing to The New York Times, Trump said that his wife, Me­la­nia, was seated next to Putin at the other end of a ta­ble at a cou­ples-only so­cial din­ner dur­ing the sum­mit. When the meal was go­ing to­ward dessert, he ap­proached Me­la­nia to “say hello” and then ex­changed “pleas­antries” with Putin.

Trump said he and Putin talked about the is­sue of adop­tions be­tween Rus­sia and US.

There was no se­cret and con­fi­den­tial meet­ing. To say so is ab­so­lutely ab­surd.

Dmitry Peskov, Krem­lin spokesman

Af­ter a brief greet­ing at the start of the two-day sum­mit and a two-hour bi­lat­eral meet­ing with their for­eign min­is­ters on July 7, Trump and Putin also chat­ted over din­ner on the fi­nal night of the sum­mit, a US of­fi­cial said on Tues­day.

The White House con­firmed the po­lit­i­cal sen­si­tive sit-down only af­ter it was leaked.

That raised ques­tions about what the pair talked about, who was present and why the

Trump Jr, Kush­ner to ap­pear be­fore Se­nate

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