Graphic by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer
President Donald Trump met privately with Russian leader Vladimir Putin a second time on July 7 at the G20 Summit, an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies, in Hamburg, Germany.
Hours into the annual summit, Trump made his way over to Putin and the two had a conversation, according to The New York Times. The White House confirmed the report and on Tuesday, they also verified that Trump met with Putin at a dinner with translators, for “nearly an hour” the same day.
According to multiple statements from the White House last week, Trump and Putin discussed several things, including the possible interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election, something Putin has denied publicly.
The meetings were highly scrutinized by several publications, since there has been mentions of collusion between Trump and Putin, according to The New York Times.
Trump took to Twitter, one of his preferred method of communications on Tuesday, writing, “Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”
In a statement following the summit Trump said that in his first meeting with Putin, he asked twice about his role in the 2016 presidential election. According to Trump’s statement, Putin denied involvement twice and the two agreed to drop the issue.
Trump went even further on Twitter on Tuesday when he said, “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!”
Several media outlets reported about an originally “undisclosed” conversation between the two leaders at the G20 dinner, but at the time of publication it was unclear if any news outlet referred to the meeting as “private.”
According to The New York Times, there is no official United States government record of the intimate dinner conversation, because no American official other than the president was involved. Everything the White House and Trump himself mentioned about the two meetings were in response to questions and or inquiries.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the meeting was shorter than an hour and, “It was pleasantries and small talk.” In another White House press statement last week it said Trump and Putin spoke through the Kremlin’s interpreter because the American translator didn’t speak Russian.
The meeting came on the heels of a potential tie between Trump and Moscow highlighted by allegations that his son, Donald Trump Jr., attended a meeting with a lawyer who has ties to Russia and promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, according to The New York Times.