Trump and Putin 'had private meeting at G20 with no aides present'

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20

"He has been to Vietnam two times" and the people of Vietnam would want to see the Russian leader in their country once again this year, the diplomat said.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit.

Trump and Putin also talked about the potential for a formal meeting, the official said. Putin did have someone, though: his translator, although it's unclear if that person wrote anything down.

Last December, the White House confirmed that Donald Trump and Melania Trump spoke with several world leaders but insisted that those were "informal conversations".

There are two major problems with Trump's continued and ill-advised conduct.

In response to the news that President Trump had no translator or other official on hand as he met with Putin, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters (link to TASS article in Russian), "It's none of our business whether Trump had an interpreter; Putin's interpreter is always by his side - we have stability and order in that regard", according to Russian Media Analyst Julia Davis. Putin was reportedly accompanied by a translator, with all four at a table.

In addition to this, the administration apparently has no notes of any of the many Trump-Putin interactions over a two-year span.

The unusually secretive way in which Mr Trump has handled meetings with Mr Putin has left his own administration guessing at their content and raised concerns among lawmakers.

This isn't a minor clerical issue.

President Putin, for his part, emphasised in Helsinki that Russian Federation "has never interfered and is not going to meddle in U.S. internal affairs, including the election process". Without knowing what they agreed to, fought about, or even laughed at, it's almost impossible for the administration to conduct policy accordingly.

A Russian government official said that the talk lasted about 15 minutes and included discussions about the Syrian conflict and a clash days earlier between Russian forces and the Ukrainian navy.

Even if that's true, though, he's going about it in the worst possible way.

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