Trump held second undisclosed meeting with Putin

What is raising eyebrows about the second meeting is that only a Kremlin interpreter was present to hear to hour-long exchange. No official U.S. government record of the conversation exists.
By Harry Marcolis | Jul 19, 2017
The White House confirmed Tuesday that President Trump held a previously undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 economic conference in Hamburg last month.

The encounter came after a two-hour-long formal meeting between the two world leaders in which Trump appeared to accept Putin's denial that his government interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

What is raising eyebrows about the second meeting is that only a Kremlin interpreter was present to hear to hour-long exchange. No official U.S. government record of the conversation exists.

"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," said Ian Bremmer, president of New York-based research and consulting firm, the Eurasia Group, as reported by The New York Times. "They were flummoxed, they were confused and they were startled."

Russia experts say such a lengthy encounter between an American president and an often hostile foreign power with no American representative present is troubling.

"We're all going to be wondering what was said, and that's where it's unfortunate that there was no U.S. interpreter, because there is no independent American account of what happened," said former ambassador to Ukraine, Stephen Pifer, in the Times report. "If I was in the Kremlin, my recommendation to Putin would be, 'See if you can get this guy alone,' and that's what it sounds like he was able to do."

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