HAMBURG, Germany (CBSMiami) — Protests at the G20 Summit have been occasionally disruptive but things changed Friday night as German police brace for bigger crowds and the prospect of more violence.
The protests raged overnight as fires and looting increased the sense of chaos surrounding the summit. The German government summoned reinforcements to confront the estimated 100,000 protesters expected to converge on Hamburg for the summit’s final day.
So far, nearly 200 German police have been injured and 100 protesters were arrested or detained.
President Donald Trump referenced the disturbances in remarks to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“It’s been really incredible the way things have been handled and nothing is easy,” he said. “They seem to follow your G20’s around but you have been amazing.”
He also touched upon his lengthy meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Rex and I had a tremendous meeting yesterday with Putin,” Trump said.
President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson huddled with Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for more than two hours. The president raised the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In an off-camera briefing, Tillerson said Putin denied ordering cyber attacks during the campaign, something the U.S. intelligence community concluded.
“And so I think, again, the president’s rightly focused on how do we move forward from what may be simply an intractable disagreement at this point,” Tillerson said.
On North Korea, the U.S. and Russia also disagree on the immediacy of the nuclear threat, Tillerson added.
“There is a difference in terms of views around tactics and pace, and so we will continue to work with them to see if we cannot persuade them as to the urgency that we see,” he said.
Democrats in Congress said the president failed to stand up to Putin about election meddling. When Russia’s foreign minister discussed the meeting, he said Trump “accepted Putin’s blanket denial of any election interference.”