White House re­veals Trump-Putin dis­cus­sion

Dis­clo­sure raises ques­tions about why the meet­ing was not pre­vi­ously men­tioned

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Wash­ing­ton, US - Don­ald Trump and Vladimir Putin had an ad­di­tional, pre­vi­ously undis­closed chat at this month’s G20 sum­mit in Ham­burg, the White House ac­knowl­edged on Tues­day.

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, an of­fi­cial said.

“There was a cou­ples-only so­cial din­ner at the G20,” a White House of­fi­cial told AFP. “To­ward the end, the Pres­i­dent spoke to Putin at the din­ner.”

The dis­clo­sure has raised ques­tions about what the pair talked about, who was present and why the meet­ing was not pre­vi­ously men­tioned.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has been be­sieged by al­le­ga­tions that the Pres­i­dent’s clos­est advisors col­luded with Rus­sia to win the 2016 elec­tion.

Trump late on Tues­day took to Twit­ter to blast the sug­ges­tion that there was any­thing im­proper about his din­ner chat with Putin. “Fake News story of se­cret din­ner with Putin is ‘sick’. All G20 lead­ers, and spouses, were in­vited by the Chan­cel­lor of Ger­many. Press knew!” he de­clared.

“The Fake News is be­com­ing more and more dis­hon­est! Even a din­ner ar­ranged for top 20 lead­ers in Ger­many is made to look sin­is­ter!”

‘Ma­li­cious and ab­surd’

A sec­ond White House of­fi­cial de­nied there was a ‘sec­ond meet­ing’ be­tween Trump and Putin, de­scrib­ing a ‘brief con­ver­sa­tion at the end of a din­ner’.

“The in­sin­u­a­tion that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a sec­ond meet­ing is false, ma­li­cious and ab­surd,” the of­fi­cial said.

“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. Mrs Trump was seated next to Pres­i­dent Putin.”

“Dur­ing the course of the din­ner, all the lead­ers cir­cu­lated through­out the room and spoke with one an­other freely. Pres­i­dent Trump spoke with many lead­ers dur­ing the course of the evening. As the din­ner was con­clud­ing, Pres­i­dent Trump went over to Mrs Trump, where he spoke briefly with Pres­i­dent Putin.”

(AFP)

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Rus­sian coun­ter­part Vladimir Putin meet on the side­lines of the G20 Sum­mit in Ham­burg, Ger­many, on July 7

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