Trump, Putin's '30-Minute' Meeting Lasted 136 Minutes
Details on what they discussed are starting to trickle out
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2017 12:52 PM CDT
Updated Jul 7, 2017 6:43 PM CDT
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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany Friday was scheduled to last just 30 minutes. Instead, per a State Department spokesperson, the meeting went on for two hours and 16 minutes, the AP reports. What you need to know:

  • The extended meeting came as US officials announced the US and Russia reached an agreement for a ceasefire in southwest Syria set to take effect Sunday. The two leaders were expected to discuss Syria during the sit-down, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson describes the deal as the first indication of the Trump administration and Russia being able to work together in Syria.

  • Per the Guardian, Trump pressed Putin on the issue of Russia's interference with the 2016 US presidential election, and the two sides are presenting different recaps on how it went. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov reportedly said Putin denied any involvement and Trump accepted that; Tillerson told reporters the two sides may never come to a consensus on the topic. His line: Trump "is rightly focused on how do we move forward from something that may be an intractable disagreement at this point."
  • Mid-meeting, Trump told reporters who briefly entered the room that it was "going very well," ABC News reports. Upon leaving the meeting, Putin reportedly said he and Trump had discussed "Ukraine, Syria, and other bilateral problems. We returned to the problems of fighting terrorism and cybersecurity."
  • Tillerson said the meeting was "very constructive" and the two men "connected very quickly," per CNN. "There was a very clear positive chemistry."
  • CNN also notes that First Lady Melania Trump entered the room after about an hour to see if the men wanted to wrap things up, but the meeting continued.
  • Slate says that Trump got through the meeting with no gaffes, but Putin was the winner: Even if Lavrov's version of the election-meddling conversation is an exaggeration, both sides seem to agree that Trump and Putin agreed to "move forward" from the issue, which means "Putin did not, and apparently will not, pay any price for his information-warfare campaign against American democracy."
  • The Washington Post says the meeting was important because it's "crucial for the world’s two major nuclear powers to engage with each other, as they did during the Cold War."
  • Was this Trump and Putin's first-ever meeting? As the AP notes, both men now say that it was, but Trump has claimed multiple times in the past that he met Putin previously.
  • The BBC rounds up the memes that appeared on social media after the meeting.
  • John Cassidy's take at the New Yorker? "The Trump-Putin Bromance Is Back On."
  • Elsewhere in Hamburg, protests related to the G20 summit left dozens of officers and activists injured.

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