WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The White House has confirmed that President Donald Trump had a second, previously undisclosed, conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this month’s G-20 Summit in Germany.
The second conversation occurred during a dinner attended by the world leaders and their spouses. Putin was sitting next to First Lady Melania Trump. Later, the President reportedly left his seat to go speak with Puting for nearly an hour using the Russian leader’s translator.
This action was highly unusual, according to former U.S. Diplomat Richard Hass.
“He went into this meeting without his own talking points, without his own interpreter, without a note-taker,” said Hass.
The White House downplayed the conversation, calling it brief and informal. President Trump took Twitter to defend himself.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017
The revelation comes as the list of attendees at Donald Trump Junior’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer continues to grow.
It has been confirmed that an eighth person at the meeting was Ike Kaveladze, a Soviet born businessman who came to the U.S. in 1991. Also at the meeting was Trump Sr. son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign manager Paul Manafort, Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akmetshin.
Akmetshin was born in the former Soviet Union and served in its military. He has suspected ties to Russian intelligence. Now a U.S. citizen, he lobbies to lift anti-Russian sanctions.
Kaveladze’s attorney claims his client thought he was there to serve as an interpreter but wasn’t needed.
Veselnitskaya has told Russian media she is ready to testify to the Senate to dispel what she called “mass hysteria” about the meeting. Trump Jr. agreed to meet her after being told she was a Russian government lawyer with damaging information about Hillary Clinton.