President Trump on Tuesday derided media reports that he had a second, previously undisclosed talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017
The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017
Some Twitter users on Tuesday criticized Trump for reportedly speaking informally with Putin during the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Hamburg, Germany earlier in July.
So Trump vigorously denied he had a 2nd Putin meeting. Must be true.— Peter Gethers (@PGethers) July 19, 2017
Donald J. Trump used Putin's interpreter in their secret meeting? Trump is a fool.— Leon Acord (@LeonAcord) July 19, 2017
Other people on the social media platform defended Trump for meeting with Putin twice during the summit.
The White House confirmed earlier Tuesday that Trump spoke with Putin at the G20 heads of state dinner, which took place hours after their official bilateral conversation.
Trump reportedly spoke with Putin for about an hour, with only the Russian leader’s translator joining the two men.
A White House official downplayed the discussion to The Hill Tuesday, also seemingly disputing the pair’s talk lasted more than an hour.
“There was ‘no second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner,” the official said.
“The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious, and absurd,” they added of the conversation, which had not previously been mentioned by Trump’s administration.
“It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president’s duties, to interact with world leaders.”
The White House added the Russian translator was used as the American translator with Trump spoke Japanese.
Trump and Putin’s formal summit at the G20 was scheduled to run for 30 minutes but ultimately exceeded two hours.
The president’s actions regarding Russia are under fierce scrutiny as the FBI and several congressional committees probe Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race.
The multiple investigations reportedly include whether Trump’s election campaign colluded with Russia, a charge the president has called a “witch hunt” against his administration.