President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met face to face during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday, in a highly anticipated and closely observed meeting that could set the stage for the immediate future of U.S.-Russian relations.
The most pressing question from much of the media was whether Trump would question Putin at all about the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has in the past expressed doubt about the matter, and on Thursday told reporters that other countries may have also been involved — not just Russia.
Trump and Putin’s meeting was opened briefly to the media, as the two leaders sat beside each other on white armchairs with Russian and U.S. flags behind them. They shook hands at one point, and exchanged optimistic messages.
“We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia, and for the United States, and for everyone concerned. And it’s an honor to be with you,” Trump said.
Putin noted that they had spoken over the phone, but “phone conversations are never enough definitely.”
“I’m delighted to be able to meet you personally, Mr. President,” Putin said. “And I hope, as you have said, our meeting will yield positive result.”
Trump did not respond to questions from reporters on whether he would address Russian hacking.