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White House Says Trump Will Not Hold Formal Meeting With Putin


White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has announced President Donald will not hold a formal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as previous reports had suggested.

"Regarding the Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed and there will not be one that takes place due to scheduling conflicts on both sides," Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday. "We're not going to be able to make anything work."

Russian media had reported that Trump and Putin would hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

Sanders acknowledged that both leaders would be at the summit and indicated that an informal conversation was possible.

"Now, they're going to be in the same place, so are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely," Sanders said.

She added, "But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there's not one on the calendar and we don't anticipate that there will be one."

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said a formal meeting between Trump and Putin was "under consideration."

"We're working with the Russians, as you know, in a number of very difficult areas. And we have been in contact with them," Tillerson said.

He added, "The view has been if the two leaders are going to meet, is there something sufficiently substantive to talk about that would warrant a formal meeting?"

Tillerson said U.S. and Russian officials are discussing various issues, including Syria and Ukraine as well as allegations of Russian meddling in last year's election.

(Photo: Kremlin.ru)

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