They don’t even bother to try and hide their affair anymore.
What did President Trump think he was doing, when he stepped aside from his seated place at the G20 dinner table next to Japan’s Shinzo Abe, and walked all the way around to the other side of the table to cozy up to Russian President Vladimir Putin?
We now know that Trump and Putin then stepped aside for a private conversation, accompanied only by Putin’s translator.
Putin, by the way, speaks and understands perfect English. Trump barely speaks English, let alone Russian.
What the heck was he doing there alone with the Russian leader for, by various reports, more than an hour?
What did they discuss?
Trump and Putin’s lengthy private conversation was previously not disclosed. A White House official confirmed the rumors this week, on Tuesday.
We can assume Russia, or someone, recorded it. Will we see or hear a recording, or get a transcript, from Russia?
The two leaders held a formal two-hour bilateral meeting on July 7 in which Trump later said Putin denied allegations that he directed efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Trump’s interactions with the Russian leader were scrutinized closely because of those allegations, which have dominated his first six months in the White House, and Trump’s comments as a presidential candidate praising the former KGB spy.
Trump and Putin first met at the G20 during a gathering of other leaders, which was shown in a video. They later held the bilateral meeting, which was attended briefly by a pool of reporters.
In the evening, both men attended a dinner with G20 leaders. Putin was seated next to U.S. first lady Melania Trump. The U.S. president went over to them at the conclusion of the dinner and visited with Putin, the official said. That conversation had not been previously disclosed.
"There was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd," the official said.
In a tweet late on Tuesday, Trump 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!"
News of the conversation, first reported by Ian Bremmer, the president of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, could raise renewed concern as Congress and a special counsel investigate allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered to help Trump, a Republican, win the presidency.
Trump says there was no collusion and Russia denies interference in the election.
Bremmer said 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."
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