President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met for the second time in a previously undisclosed chat at this month’s G20 summit in Hamburg, the White House confirmed on Tuesday.
The White House, in a statement said the two world leaders held talks over dinner on the final night of the summit.
“There was a couples-only social dinner at the G20,” a White House official told AFP. “Toward the end, the president spoke to Putin at the dinner.”
According to the statement, the meeting was brief and Trump spoke with Putin through Russia’s translator.
The CNN reported that a White House statement said the conversation took place in full view of other world leaders and their spouses at a dinner hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G20 summit. Trump was seated near Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Abe’s wife, while first lady Melania Trump was seated next to Putin.
The White House said Trump went over to his wife and spoke with Putin near the dinner’s end, the CNN reports.
However, the meeting has raised questions over what the duo discussed amid reports that Trump advisors colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
The White House statement ruled out alleged secret meeting tag, saying the discussion was a “brief conversation.”
“It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president’s duties, to interact with world leaders,” the statement said.
Trump followed up the statement with a tweet later Tuesday evening.
“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!” Trump tweeted, following it up with another, saying: “The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”