The Trump-Putin encounter the White House neglected to mention

Pauline Gross
July 19, 2017

They later held the bilateral meeting, which was attended briefly by a pool of reporters.

"Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is "sick".

"Trump also went after Huntsman during his tenure as ambassador to Beijing". Trump reportedly left his seat at the table halfway through the meal and sat in an empty chair next to Putin, with Putin's translator the only other person around. The US president was alone with Mr Putin, apart from the attendance of the Russian president's official interpreter. "The insinuation that the White House has tried to "hide" a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd", the White House said last night after various media reports came about the second meeting.

During the course of the dinner, all the leaders circulated throughout the room and spoke with one another freely, the White House explained.

The US and Russian Presidents met for the first time on 7 July and, during their two-hour meeting, Mr Putin reportedly denied allegations that he had been behind efforts to meddle in last year's presidential election.

National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said: "A conversation over dessert should not be characterised as a meeting". However, reports are now claiming that the two leaders held an unofficial private meeting.

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Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russian Federation, says it is not "terribly unusual" for one leader to approach another for a discussion at such a dinner, although they are usually "quite formal affairs".

Trump and Putin earlier this month announced a limited ceasefire in a small part of Syria, which the US president hailed as evidence of the two longtime rivals' newfound ability to cooperate. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended. "I don't know of any changes that would be made".

The firestorm around the meeting is the latest chapter in the scandal over possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow. The only ones present during the encounter were Trump, Putin, Melania Trump and a translator.

In emails, Donald Trump Jr enthusiastically agreed to the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others after he was promised dirt on his father's rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Huntsman's name for the key diplomatic post first surfaced in March, and the White House acknowledged he was Trump's pick, though the president didn't formally nominate him at that time.

Other reports by GizPress

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