Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trump: "Fake News" Reporting Of Secret Putin Chat Is "Sick"

Another morning, another Twitter rant from Donald Trump.

The New York Times reported yesterday that the president had an hour long previously undisclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit earlier this month.

According to reports, the impromptu discussion included only Putin, Putin's translator, and Trump. No one other staff from the U.S. was present.

The hourlong conversation in Hamburg, Germany, took place at a private dinner of the world leaders at a conference hall on the banks of the Elbe River during the Group of 20 economic summit meeting. It followed a more than two-hour formal meeting earlier in the day between the two presidents that included their foreign ministers and featured a fraught discussion about Moscow’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 elections.

In the earlier meeting, Mr. Trump questioned the Russian president about his role in the American elections, Mr. Putin denied his involvement, and the two men agreed to move beyond the dispute in the interest of finding common ground on other matters, including a limited cease-fire in Syria.

But the intimate dinner conversation, of which there is no official United States government record is the latest to raise eyebrows. Foreign leaders who witnessed it later commented privately on the oddity of an American president flaunting such a close rapport with his Russian counterpart.

John Kirby, a diplomatic military analyst, told CNN, "While smaller pull-aside meetings are common, it is strange that a pull-aside with someone like Putin -- especially Putin -- would not include at least another national security official and a translator."

But this morning Trump took to his Twitter account to admonish the media for reporting the meeting and described the "fake news" as "sick" and "dishonest."

While the Trumpster tweeted that the media characterized the dinner as "secret," that isn't what news outlets were reporting. The dinner itself, and Trump's attendance were well known.

What wasn't apparent was an hour long chat between the two world leaders. And with no American aide to take notes, no one knows what was discussed.

The first volatile tweet read, “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!”

That was followed by, “The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”

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