WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will convene a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit of industrial and emerging-market nations in Germany next week, the White House said Thursday, amid swirling allegations about Moscow’s role in the 2016 elections.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster confirmed that Trump will meet with Putin along the sidelines of the annual Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, part of an itinerary that will include meetings with several world leaders.
Trump’s first in-person encounter with Putin has been highly anticipated as Trump pushes back against allegations that some of his associates may have had contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and the transition.
All 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed Russia was behind last year’s hack of the Democratic Party’s email systems and tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Trump. Members of his campaign are also under investigation for possible collusion with Russia in the lead-up to the campaign.
Trump has staunchly denied that he had any contacts with Russia during his campaign. Russian officials have denied any meddling in the 2016 election.