World leaders weirded out by Trump's secret dinner meeting with Putin

The president breached both national security and party protocol.
Trump Putin Meeting G20
Photo: Getty Images

Reaction to the revelation that President Trump held a second, undisclosed meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit has not been great. There is the "undisclosed" matter. There is the fact that it was attended only by Trump, Putin and Putin's translator, meaning that even top members of the State Department don't know what was said or agreed to.

 

Plus, the other world leaders thought it was weird.

 

The meeting happened at a dinner for world leaders on July 7. Halfway through the meal, Trump got up from his chair and came around to Putin, who was sitting next to Melania Trump, and the two then talked for an hour. He relied solely on a Kremlin interpreter, a White House official said.

 

This was a breach of national security protocol, said Ian Bremner, president of the New York research and consulting firm Eurasia Group, and just plain bizarre.

 

"Pretty much everyone at the dinner thought this was really weird, that here is the president of the United States, who clearly wants to display that he has a better relationship personally with President Putin than any of us, or simply doesn’t care. They were flummoxed, they were confused and they were startled," said Bremner.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement: "It was pleasantries and small talk." How did he know? Trump told him.

 

Trump took to Twitter to defend the undisclosed meeting. "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!"

 

A few minutes later he added: "The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!"

 

Twitter took to Trump, reacting with jokes and alarm:

 

The only transcript of the meeting has been provided by The Daily Show.

 

And the definition of meeting itself has been questioned. National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said: "A conversation over dessert should not be characterized as a meeting."

 
Latest From ...
Most Popular From ...