WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin a second time during the G-20 summit earlier this month, a White House official confirmed to NBC News Tuesday.
Trump spoke to Putin at the end of a couples-only social dinner at the summit in Hamburg, Germany, the official said, reiterating it was a social dinner. Pull-asides are typically less formal than official bilateral meetings, which Trump and Putin also shared.
The White House did not previously disclose or offer a record of what was discussed during the meeting, which was first reported by Ian Bremmer, president of the international consulting firm Eurasia Group.
During that Friday night dinner, Putin was seated next to first lady Melania Trump.
Trump and Putin’s first face-to-face meeting as world leaders came while in Germany, with the bilateral lasting over two hours. During that meeting, Putin denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election, though it still remains unclear whether or not Trump accepted the Kremlin’s version of events. Russian officials, including Putin, have indicated that Trump accepted Putin’s denial.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump “heard” Putin’s denial “and he moved forward with places they thought they could work together.”
The Trump-Putin relationship has been highly scrutinized amid ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the election, which includes a probe into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia. Trump and his team have repeatedly denied those allegations.