Trump says second conversation with Putin lasted 15 minutes
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
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