SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The world watched as President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin finally met in person Friday. It happened on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Trump and Putin sat down for a very high-stakes- and even more high-profile meeting which ended up lasting much longer than expected. The first topic of conversation was concerns over Russian interference in the presidential election.
First a handshake, then a pat on the back. That kicked off Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Germany.
Trump said, “We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia and the United States.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat in. He said for the first time, Trump confronted Putin about Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“They had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject. The President pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement,” said Tillerson.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took a different stance, saying President Trump accepted Putin’s denials and told him some Americans are “fueling stories” of Russian meddling.
Back in Washington, congressional leaders weighed in on the meeting. Some expressed dismay.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president “has an equal obligation to take the word of our intelligence community, rather than that of the Russian president.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “It comes as no surprise to me that Vladimir Putin would deny what we know they did.
The meeting lasted two hours and 16 minutes. Cyber security, terrorism and North Korea were also discussed. The leaders also agreed to cooperate on Syria, despite Russia’s continued support of Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad.
Outside, protesters again faced off with police, setting fires and looting businesses. Riot police responded with water cannons.
Secretary of State Tillerson announced a ceasefire had been entered into — the first indication that the U.S. and Russia plan to work together in Syria.