Earlier in the week, Donald Trump declared that he expected to meet with Vladimir Putin while on his junket across Asia.
Mr. Trump told reporters on Air Force One en route to Japan on Sunday he "will want Putin's help" in dealing with the North Korea crisis, adding that he'll be meeting with a number of world leaders to discuss how to pressure North Korea.
But as Air Force One prepared to touch down in Da Nang, Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered a different message.
“Regarding a Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed, and there will not be one that takes place due to scheduling conflicts on both sides. There is no formal meeting or anything scheduled for them. Now, they’re going to be in the same place. Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely. 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.”
So … Trump said there would be a meeting, but Putin didn’t pencil Trump into his schedule? And now there won’t be a meeting … unless there is a meeting. Which won’t be a formal meeting, but just saying hello. Which … sounds very much like how someone else described their meetings with the Russians. And from Putin’s side, he still sounds like he's ready do do some bumping.
The Kremlin has said Donald Trump will meet with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a forum in Vietnam "one way or another" despite "contradictory" information from the White House.
Who’s telling the truth about plans between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: Sarah Sanders or the Kremlin? The safe bet is neither.
It seems like the Kremlin wins.
President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have shaken hands at a summit in Vietnam.
The two leaders were spotted on video greeting one another ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit gala dinner in the coastal city of Danang.