Jolting another international summit before it’s even begun, President Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled a much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, less than an hour after telling reporters he expected it to occur at this weekend’s summit of developed nations in Argentina.
The president cited Russia’s seizure this week of three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 sailors in announcing his decision on Twitter, shortly after Air Force One took off for the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.
The development followed the morning news that the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. Cohen acknowledged that, with Trump’s knowledge, he had negotiated during the 2016 presidential campaign over building a Trump tower in Moscow. That is longer than previously known, and contrary to Trump’s repeated claims of having no economic interests in 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,” Trump tweeted from Air Force One.
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