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Melania Trump Was the Only One Present at Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin's Meeting, Report Claims
As soon as U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn into the White House, his alleged ties with the Russian government leaders have been a cause for concern and even started a still ongoing investigation. This week, a new report came out claiming he privately met with Russian president Vladimir Putin with only U.S. first lady Melania Trump to witness it.
The information came from a Russian government official who told Financial Times that Mr. Trump and Putin talked for about 15 minutes after an official event at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina last November. Aside from Mrs. Trump, Putin’s translator was reportedly at the private meeting but no one from the POTUS’ staff was around to record the conversation.
Putin and Mr. Trump were officially going to meet at the G20 Summit. However, the latter canceled it following an incident with Ukrainian sailors. Russian forces reportedly fired on Ukrainian ships to force them out of the Crimean Peninsula. The Ukrainian crew were also later arrested.
“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting,” Trump tweeted at the time. So it is now quite ironic that Mr. Trump apparently pursued the meeting with Putin.
Last December, the White House confirmed that Donald Trump and Melania Trump spoke with several world leaders but insisted that those were “informal conversations.” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, "As is typical at multilateral events, President Trump and the First Lady had a number of informal conversations with world leaders at the dinner last night, including President Putin.”
However, FT’s sources disputed Sanders’ statement. According to the report, the private and off-the-record meeting seemed “most substantive” and was not an “informal” chat as the White House previously claimed.