President Trump has tweeted in on the latest “scoop” from the media about his “dealings” with Russian president Putin…
Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is “sick.” All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017
It has been exactly one week since the latest Russia story involving Trump, or in this particular case his son, and with attentions once again starting to drift from the main news cycle narrative of the year, which was eclipsed today by the Senate republicans’ humiliating failure to replace or repeal Obamacare, on Tuesday afternoon a White House official said that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a second, “previously undisclosed” (except to all the world leaders who were in the room at the time) meeting at the G-20.
According to Reuters, the White House confirmed that the meeting took place during the G-20 heads of state dinner, hours after Trump’s formal bilateral sit-down with Putin. In that conversation, Trump spoke with the Russian leader for roughly an hour, joined only by Putin’s translator. And while the meeting took place in the open in front of all other leaders, it had previously gone without mention by the White House.
“There was a couples-only social dinner at the G-20; toward the end, the president spoke to Putin at the dinner,” NSC spokesman Michael Anton says.
The White House official did not say how long the second meeting took place or what was discussed in front of everyone.
While details of the meeting are scarce, the WaPo reports that halfway through the official dinner Trump left his seat to occupy an empty chair next to Putin. Trump was alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter. In other words, it happened in front of everyone, during the so-called “mingling.” According to Eurasia Group president, Ian Bremmer, who first reported the meeting, Trump got up from his seat halfway through dinner and spent about an hour talking “privately and animatedly” with Putin, “joined only by Putin’s own translator.” Bremmer said that the lack of a translator is a “breach of national security protocol”, though one that the president likely would not know about.
During Trump’s initial formal meeting with Putin, one which was scheduled to last 30 minutes but exceeded two hours, Trump said he had pressed Putin about Moscow’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, which the Russian president denied.
And now the newscycle turns away from the failure of the republican healthcare bill to just what nefarious secrets that two heads of state were exchanging in front of and within earshot of every major world leader. Keep an eye on Trump’s twitter account for immediate details.