After months of anticipation, President Trump finally held his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Trump described the meeting as going well, saying they “had some very, very good talks.”
Details of the meeting are still emerging, though much of the time was spent discussing Syria, and Trump reportedly also started the meeting by accusing Putin of meddling in the 2016 US election, despite Trump continuing to publicly express doubts about that as recently as yesterday.
Putin was quick to deny that any such meddling took place, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that one senior White House official conceded that despite months of investigation into the allegations not a single fact has emerged.
White House officials didn’t confirm any such concession publicly, and insisted that President Trump didn’t believe Putin when he denied meddling in the election. Such allegations began roughly a year ago, and quickly became the centerpiece of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which claimed Putin was plotting to get Trump elected.
Ultimately, however, the first meeting went off without any big scandals emerging, lastong over two hours despite Melania Trump’s efforts to break it up, and the two leaders were said to have “good chemistry” with one another, suggesting that to the extent it is politically possible for Trump to meet Putin, there is still a possibility to ease tensions between the two nations.
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