Report: Trump, Putin Spoke for Unreported Second Time at G-20


Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin / Getty

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a second, unsupervised, and unreported meeting at the G-20 summit earlier this month.

The two spoke at a "couples-only social dinner" at the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, CNN reported. They spoke towards the latter half of the dinner.

No staff or Cabinet members were at the dinner for any of the countries represented, according to National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton. Anton said that Trump and Putin remained in the dining room for their conversation, rather than going into another room.

The two had previously met for a nearly two-and-a-half hour bilateral meeting earlier in the day, at which, among other things, they negotiated a ceasefire in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Putin was seated next to U.S. first lady Melania Trump, with an interpreter between them. According to the Washington Post, Trump left his own seat on the opposite end of the table about halfway through the meal to take the chair next to Putin.

Trump did not bring a U.S. translator, but relied on Putin's, who was the only other party to the conversation.

The White House responded to the news on Tuesday evening, saying that "the insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide' a second meeting is false, malicious, and absurd."

The White House said that Trump and his fellow leaders all "circulated throughout the room and spoke with one another freely." Trump went over to his wife at the end of the evening, which is when he spoke to Putin. Each couple was allowed only one translator, and as Trump's translator did not speak Russian, Trump and Putin used Putin's translator when conversing.

"It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president's duties, to interact with world leaders," the White House said.

UPDATED 7:18 P.M.: This post was updated to reflect a press release from the White House.