President Donald Trump criticized media outlets late on Tuesday for reports that he had a “second” and “secret” meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit.
“Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is ‘sick.’ All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Press knew!”
“There was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner,” the White House said in a statement. “The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd.”
The dinner in question was held for heads of state and their spouses in Hamburg. According to the White House, all of the leaders circulated freely through the room during the dinner, speaking with each other. First Lady Melania Trump was seated next to Putin.
“President Trump spoke with many leaders during the course of the evening,” the White House statement reads. “As the dinner was concluding, President Trump went over to Mrs. Trump, where he spoke briefly with President Putin.”
Trump and Putin met earlier in the day for an official bilateral meeting that lasted over two hours. Trump secured a ceasefire in southwest Syria and pressed Putin on claims that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. Putin denied any involvement.
Some news outlets pointed out that during the dinner Trump spoke to Putin without a translator, but the White House contends that Trump’s translator at the meeting spoke Japanese, so the two leaders used Putin’s translator.
“The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest!” Trump wrote in another Twitter message late on Tuesday. “Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”
Late on Tuesday, the White House announced the nomination of Jon Huntsman for ambassador to Russia. Huntsman served as the ambassador to China during the Obama administration and as the ambassador to Singapore during the Bush administration.
The news on the allegedly “undisclosed” meeting with Putin comes on the heels of reports that Hillary Clinton, in her role as secretary of state, sided with Russia in opposing U.S. sanctions the same time that her husband, Bill Clinton, earned $500,000 for a speech he gave in Moscow. Putin personally thanked Bill Clinton for the speech.
From NTD Television