Trump had a secret meeting with Putin on July 7th, hours into a dinner with other foreign leaders who attended the G-20 summit in Germany. Earlier in the day, Trump met with the Russian leader for the first time in-person.
There Was a Second Meeting
The two men took part in a photo op but didn’t have enough time to discuss in detail pressing matters such as the Russian meddling with the U.S. election. That meeting made the headlines, but an undisclosed second meeting remained a secret until today.
That meeting happened over the dinner, lasted an hour, and was possible with help from a Russian interpreter. The discussion was confirmed by the White House earlier this week after media reports showed that some G-20 participants were startled to see the two leaders talk for an hour.
Other leaders cannot explain why the Russian leader received special treatment from the U.S. president at a dinner packed with some of the United States’ most loyal allies. Even though the dinner appeared on the U.S. president’s public schedule, the U.S. press was denied access to the discussion.
Reporters noted that Trump left the dinner five minutes after Putin did.
It is Unclear What Trump and Putin Discussed
The dinner was three hours long following a concert for the foreign leaders and their partners at a concert hall in Hamburg. During the formal meeting, Trump asked his Russian counterpart twice if there was any interference in the U.S. election.
Putin denied any involvement, so the two leaders sought a common ground by discussing other topics such as Syria. The U.S. government doesn’t have an official record of the talks since no other government employee was present at the meeting.
Guests noted that either Trump wanted to prove that he has a better relationship with Putin than them by approaching him or he simply didn’t care what everybody else would say. Witnesses said they saw Trump leaving his seat and approaching the Russian leader who sat near the U.S. First Lady Melania Trump.