WASHINGTON, July 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump held “a brief conversation at the end of dinner” during the G20 summit in Hamburg, but this cannot be called a second meeting, 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,” it said.
The White House said the American translator accompanying Trump spoke Japanese, and Trump and Putin used the Russian translator to speak to each other as the American translator did not speak Russian. “It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a President’s duties, to interact with world leaders,” the statement said.
Earlier reports said Putin and Trump had one meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit that lasted for 2 hours and 15 minutes, instead of half an hour as scheduled. The leaders discussed a number of vital issues related to bilateral ties, and also talked about the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and cyber security.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday citing a senior administration official that Putin and Trump also had a second undisclosed meeting at a dinner on the sidelines of the G20 summit on July 7.