Trump abruptly cancels planned Putin meeting

US President Donald Trump on Thursday abruptly ...

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 10:09 AM
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 10:09 AM

US President Donald Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin two days before they were scheduled to sit down on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

The President pinned the cancellation on Russia's refusal to release Ukrainian Navy ships and sailors seized during a maritime confrontation between the two countries on Sunday.

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Investigations

Political Figures - Intl

Political Figures - US

Politics

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

US federal government

Vladimir Putin

White House

Diplomatic talks and summits

G20 summits

Inter-governmental talks

International relations

International relations and national security

But while Russia's position on the incident has not changed since it attacked Ukrainian ships on Sunday, the President's abrupt move came after his longtime former attorney Michael Cohen leveled fresh allegations in court about Trump's business dealings with Russia.

"Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting (...) in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!" Trump tweeted en route to the summit.

Trump announced he was canceling the meeting less than an hour after telling reporters he believed it is "a very good time to have a meeting" with Putin.

His tweet came shortly after he boarded Air Force One to depart for the G20 summit in Buenos Aires and the series of bilateral meetings he has scheduled in the city.

Aboard the plane, his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the President made his decision in consultation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton, who phoned into the plane from Brazil.

Sanders said she wasn't aware of any phone calls between Trump and Putin.

Earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters he would "probably" still meet with Putin, despite a recent incident in which Russian ships opened fire on and seized three Ukrainian vessels near Crimea.

"I probably will be meeting with President Putin. We haven't terminated that meeting. I was thinking about it, but we haven't. They'd like to have it. I think it's a very good time to have a meeting. I'm getting a full report on the plane as to what happened with respect to that," he said at the White House as he prepared to board Marine One.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, en route to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, responded to Trump's cancellation, saying: "We are flying actually, so far we've only seen (Trump's) tweet and media reports. We don't have official information yet. And if this is the case we'll have extra couple of hours for other useful meetings!"

But removing the meeting from his agenda at the G20 won't necessarily preclude some type of encounter between the two leaders, who last met formally in Helsinki in July. The summit, which officially begins on Friday, will provide several chances that will bring them into the same room for meetings and a dinner.

It does, for now, eliminate one of the most closely watched elements of the President's short stay in Buenos Aires, where he is engaging in a flurry of diplomacy on the sidelines of the gathering.

His meeting with Putin, which was scheduled to last more than two hours, would have been one of the longest engagements on the President's schedule. The White House has not said how he'll fill the now-empty hours on Saturday morning.

Ahead of the scheduled meeting, Trump's aides had previewed a broad agenda, though were vague on details. Bolton told reporters earlier this week that security issues, including the situation in the Middle East, would be a focus, but demurred when asked whether the heightened tensions in Ukraine would also arise.

He similarly did not say whether Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election would come up when the two leaders sat down to meet.

Ahead of the meeting, experts and administration officials fretted that the President could emerge from his meeting with Putin without condemning Russia's actions toward Ukraine, or perhaps even having accepted Putin's interpretation of the incident -- one in which Russia was blameless.

Now, the President will have neither the opportunity to confront Putin publicly about the incident nor to accept his denials, as he did during their last meeting in Helsinki.

Before the meeting was canceled, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer told CNN it would be a mistake if Trump did not confront Putin over Ukraine because it would lead Putin to view Trump as "weak."

Pifer also said Trump could not meet with Putin without addressing the subject of the confrontation with Ukraine.

"There's gotta be some discussion of Russia-Ukraine. If President Trump wants the relationship to improve, he's got to get Putin to do something to move that conflict in a more positive direction," Pifer said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Angola
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Few Storms Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events