President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have concluded their first, highly anticipated in-person meeting since the U.S. presidential election. The meeting, which was expected to last just 30 minutes, lasted two hours and 16 minutes, according to a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“It’s an honor to be with you,” Trump said to President Putin at the beginning of their meeting. Awwwww!
“President Putin and I have been discussing various things. I think it’s going very well, we’ve had some very, very good talks,” Trump told reporters who were allowed into the room briefly. Trump added, “We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia, for the United States, and for everybody concerned.” Should everybody concerned be concerned or not just yet? Because with these two involved, we are talking the planet Earth level of concern.
Putin said beforehand that he was “delighted” to meet with Trump personally and hoped their meeting would “yield positive results.” The Russian president said while he and Trump have spoken over the phone – three times since Trump took office – such calls are “never enough.” That depends…
Before their high-stakes sit-down, the two leaders had a casual run-in this morning where they exchanged a handshake.
Handshakes in the Trumpworld deserve a separate paragraph or two.
The Guardian reports that Putin had intended it to be the briefest of handshakes, forgetting there is no such thing as a quick handshake with Donald Trump. The US president had thrust out a clammy right paw, grabbed hold of his arm with his left hand and then pumped it enthusiastically for rather longer than was comfortable.
By the time the two world leaders met for their bilateral meeting in the afternoon, Putin was better prepared. For the obligatory photo opportunity at the beginning of the talks, he and Trump were seated in adjacent armchairs with translators and officials to one side. Their body language could hardly have been worse. Trump was perched on the edge of his chair, trying to appear in control though just looking a bit needy. Putin sat back in his, determined to make little or no eye contact. The American president stuck out a hand, which Putin accepted. This time Trump kept his other hand by his side. There was not doubt in the room who the real boss was.