President Trump has spent much of his presidency insisting that he does not know, or have any relations, with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Various members of Trump’s administration have been found to have hidden ties to Russia and with that in mind you’d think Trump would steer clear of Putin as much as possible, but that just isn’t that case.

 

Trump and Putin previously met at the G20 Summit in Germany previously this year, which was the first time the two presidents had formally met.

The two world leaders met again at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters aboard the Air Force on Friday that Putin and Trump have no plans to hold a formal meeting during the summit.

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Sanders cited “scheduling conflicts on both sides” as the reason the two world leaders will not have a formal meeting during the two-day gathering. However, Sanders added that it was likely Putin and Trump would have informal interactions throughout the summit. Sanders stated:

‘Regarding a Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed, and there will not be one that takes place due to scheduling conflicts on both sides. There is no formal meeting or anything scheduled for them.
‘Now, they’re going to be in the same place. Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible, and likely. But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there’s not one on the calendar and we don’t anticipate that there will be one.’
While waiting for a photo with all of the heads of state previous to the official start of the summit, Putin and Trump found the time, despite not scheduling a meeting, to get a quick chat in. The pair stood beside each other for the photo, both wearing blue traditional-style Vietnamese shirts which were provided to them by the host country.
Putin and Trump exchanged handshakes, and some casual conversation while waiting for the picture to take place.

While this exchange may not seem like a huge deal, considering that Trump has been under investigation for possible Russian collusion, any meeting between Trump and Putin is a delicate situation. What is discussed during formal, or informal, conversations between the two leaders could impact the investigation in some form.
Many are worried that the focus of Trump’s trip to Vietnam, where he is set to discuss business, trade, and security, will be overshadowed by the speculation and anticipation of meetings between the United States President and the Russian President.

You can view some responses and reactions to Trump’s brief interaction with Vladimir Putin below

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