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Media scoop of undisclosed Trump-Putin “meeting” at G20 falls apart

Media scoop of undisclosed Trump-Putin “meeting” at G20 falls apart

Russian-mania click bait: Conversation at crowded dinner table just feet from other G20 leaders where Melania seated next to Putin.

The competition among major media to feed the Russia-mania news cycle beast leads to shoddy (at best) reporting.

We saw that yesterday, when the Washington Post ran a scoop about Trump having an “undisclosed hour-long meeting with Putin at G-20 Summit.”

Here is the Original version:

After his much-publicized, two-and a quarter-hour meeting early this month with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Trump met informally with the Russian leader for an additional hour later the same day.

The second meeting, unreported at the time, took place at a dinner for G20 leaders, a senior administration official said. Halfway through the meal, Trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to Putin. Trump was alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter.

The encounter underscores the extent to which Trump was eager throughout the summit to cultivate a friendship with Putin. During last year’s campaign, Trump spoke admiringly of Putin and at times seemed captivated by him.

Meeting each other face-to-face for the first time in Hamburg, the two presidents seemed to have a chemistry in their more formal bilateral session, evidenced by the fact that it dragged on for more than two hours.

But Trump’s newly-disclosed conversation with Putin at the G20 dinner is likely to stoke further criticism, including perhaps from some fellow Republicans in Congress, that he is too cozy with the leader of a major U.S. adversary….

Note that the sole source for the story was someone who was not there, Ian Bremmer. So the story was double hearsay. The NY Times, in its subsequent reporting, also relies solely on Bremmer.

That didn’t stop the anti-Trump media from running wild with the story, with its own screaming headline, which originally was Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Meeting. That headline now has been revised to take out the word “meeting” and call it a “private conversation” – Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation.

CNN and other anti-Trump media went wild with speculation:

But the actual facts were quite different that portrayed. It turns out the meeting wasn’t a separate meeting, but a conversation at a dinner table in the presence of numerous other leaders. WaPo then amended its story, here is a Revised Version

After his much-publicized, two-and-a-quarter-hour meeting early this month with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Trump chatted informally with the Russian leader for up to an additional hour later the same day.

The second meeting, undisclosed at the time, took place at a dinner for G-20 leaders, a senior administration official said. At some point during the meal, Trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to Putin. Trump approached alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter.

In a statement issued Tuesday night after published reports of the conversation, the White House said that “there was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting,” it said, “is false, malicious and absurd.”

“All the leaders” circulated around the room throughout the dinner, and “President Trump spoke with many leaders,” the statement said. “As the dinner was concluding,” it said, Trump spoke “briefly” with Putin, who was seated next to first lady Melania Trump.

The dinner conversation with Putin was first reported Monday by Ian Bremmer, president of the New York-based Eurasia Group, in a newsletter to group clients. Bremmer said the meeting began “halfway in” to the meal and lasted “roughly an hour.” The senior official said it began with the dessert course, but did not comment on its length….

The White House explanation is further reported in The Washington Examiner:

President Trump’s previously undisclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin occurred because first lady Melania Trump had been assigned a seat beside Putin at an official dinner during the G-20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month, a White House official said Tuesday evening.

“Chancellor Merkel hosted a dinner for leaders and spouses only, and the German government set the seating arrangements,” the official said after reports of a second meeting between Trump and Putin surfaced on Tuesday. “The concert [earlier that evening] and dinner were publicly announced on both the president’s schedule and the G-20 schedule, with the clear understanding that all visiting leaders would be present.”

“At the dinner, President Trump was seated between Mrs. Abe, wife of the Prime Minister of Japan, and Mrs. Macri, wife of the President of Argentina. Mrs. Trump was seated next to President Putin,” the official explained. “During the course of the dinner, all the leaders circulated throughout the room and spoke with one another freely. President Trump spoke with many leaders during the course of the evening. As the dinner was concluding, President Trump went over to Mrs. Trump, where he spoke briefly with President Putin.” ….

“There was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd,” a White House official said. “It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president’s duties, to interact with world leaders. Throughout the G20 and in all his other foreign engagements, President Trump has demonstrated American leadership by representing our interests and values on the world stage.”

That White House explanation makes perfect sense when you view the scene and the dinner table at which the “meeting” or “private conversation”. These videos, which don’t show Trump and Putin speaking, nonetheless shows Melania next to Putin, under the watchful glare of Angela Merkel, and Trump working the crowd and speaking to numerous leaders. Not exactly private.

Here are some screenshots. You can see Melania and Putin in the lower right, with an interpreter:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z2aDLl793P0

And Merkel just a few feet away:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z2aDLl793P0

And Trump speaking to an Arab leader (probably Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z2aDLl793P0

And talking with another leader:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41IGjNcJvbU

This is all part of the red-baiting that dominates the media. Note how Bremmer is spinning this as part of a larger Russia issue, and downplaying the actual incident (which he did not witness):

Don’t trust the media when it comes to Russia and Trump. They may be broken clocks, occasionally getting something right, but for the most part they are just pushing Russia-mania click bait.

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Comments

What struck me as so bizarre about this story is that, EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE, it contained nothing that was actually objectionable or “illegal”. Would Obama have been allowed to speak privately with any foreign leader he wished? Of course, that’s the President’s prerogative, it’s the prerogative of any leader of any organization.

The MSM wants there to be a law that No Conversations May Ever Occur unless they are allowed to surveil them. These people want to work for the Stasi.

…with its own screaming headline, which originally was Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Meeting.

You know what headline they REALLY wanted: Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Meeting to Discuss How They Stole the Election from Hillary.

Very efficient. They can use this as fuel for their “The Russians! The Russians!” program, and get some “Trump lied!” mileage out of it as well. Maybe even squeeze out some “Trump’s an ignorant buffoon” stuff as well, if somebody else who wasn’t there claims that Trump used the wrong fork for his salad.

Here’s a scoop! There is a red phone in the WH called the “hot line” connecting the WH directly to Putin. If THAT doesn’t prove collusion, I don’t know what.

And here’s another scoop! Did anyone know that Russia sends a contestant to Trump’s Miss Universe contest? I understand that there was extensive on-going collusion with working out the scheduling, themes and other details between Trump’s people and Russia. And this went on for years. Gasp!

When I first saw this I thought it was the Onion taking the p1ss BUT no…it was worse than that…IT WAS A REAL HEADLINE!!

FFS! The media are making fools of themselves at every single opportunity! Hell, Trump doesn’t even have to try to trigger these f89kers any more…they just do this sh1t to themselves!

I mean honestly, its like fighting a spastic! While there is no real effort required its just a whole heaping lot of deeeeeeerty fun…much like banging the hot sister in law.

As I’ve said before, “What utter BS!”

Close The Fed | July 19, 2017 at 9:48 am

As Tom Servo said, the President can speak with whom he likes.

That the media make this a story illustrates they’ve jumped the shark. I mean to the point they’ve now unquestionably become a mob mental case.

I hope for their sakes, no one among them has ordered Kool-Aid made. But then again….

I would love to see the video of the reporters outrage over the Obama hot mic “meeting” with the out going Russian President.

“after my election I have more flexibility.”

Trump also later went to the bathroom–undisclosed at the time.

kenoshamarge | July 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

Both the Washington Post and the New York Time, former “news”papers seem determined to win the trophy for “fake” news.

They evidently don’t care because their base followers will believe anything about Trump and never bother to read the revisions.

The real controversy is that Merkel is not at home tending to millions of refugees.

Common Sense | July 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

The stupid and very anti-President Trump media once again plays right into the hands of President Trump. This shows the fake news agenda in full force. The anti-Trump forces have become so unhinged they run ridiculous stories like this that do great harm to what little credibility they have left.

FAKE NEWS!

    DaveGinOly in reply to Common Sense. | July 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    The law of diminishing returns (or, in this case, damage) may be in effect. Once your credibility has descended to a certain low point it becomes nearly immune to more damage, no matter how terrible the (self-inflicted) blow.

Charles Blow is a known idiot, but David Gregory agreeing with him comes off like a moron. Once again they get caught in fake news.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | July 19, 2017 at 11:14 am

The Shortenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School released a study about how the media covered Trump’s first 100 days. It got some notice, especially in the conservative friendly media. Most headlines I saw focused on the study’s finding that 93% of CNN’s stories about Trump were negative. But the study was much deeper than that tidbit.

The study found that Trump has been covered an incredibly 3x as much as other presidents. And 80% has been negative. Fox covered him the most balanced. But even at Fox only 48% of the stories had a positive tone.

https://shorensteincenter.org/news-coverage-donald-trumps-first-100-days/

Their ratings are up. As I’ve said before, none of them are pure news organizations anymore. NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are all part of well diversified, profit seeking media conglomerates chasing ratings to maximize earnings. The New York Times is a publicly traded company, accountable to shareholders. The executives who run them are in the business of selling your eyeballs to advertisers.

But some eyeballs are more valuable to advertisers than others. Advertisers like to reach younger, college-educated people. Those people have higher incomes and are spending lots of money as they start families, buy homes, have children to raise, etc. This is who the advertisers want to reach. So the “news” is framed to reach them.

They are creating content that will attract the kind of eyeballs the advertisers want to pay to reach. They are chasing ratings. Never forget the media companies customers are the advertisers, NOT the viewers. They are selling the advertisers viewer eyeballs.

As the Shortenstein study proves, viewers are responding to the wall to wall negative coverage of Trump. The media organizations are NOT being penalized by market forces when they get stories wrong or by bias. Viewers are not turning the channel, so advertisers keep paying for the eyeballs. In other words, market forces are rewarding them and reinforcing the shoddy “journalism”. From a business perspective everybody is behaving quite rationally. It has destroyed objective, neutral journalism.

In the Obama era, the kind of people the media companies wanted to reach loved Obama, so they created content highly favorable to him. In the Trump era, those people hate Trump, so 80% of their coverage is negative. It’s all completely rational from a business perspective.

You just have to always remind yourself that they are not neutral, objective journalistic enterprises. They are content creators who are in the business of chasing ratings and selling eyeballs to advertisers. Nothing more.

    How can the media be penalised by market forces when they are all carrying the same rubbish? In the past if one supplier f89ked up people would go elsewhere BUT every single one of the fake news media is carrying the same story so there is actually no one else to go to UNLESS you go online to the new media.

    And lets face it, the conservative new media are just beginners. They are mere amateurs compared to the multi-billion dollar behemoths the fake news media is!

      DaveGinOly in reply to mailman. | July 19, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      “How can the media be penalised by market forces when they are all carrying the same rubbish? In the past if one supplier f89ked up people would go elsewhere…”

      You presume that the people who are consuming the media content want honesty and accuracy. They don’t. The MSM has discovered a large portion of their audience wants what they’re being fed about Trump. So the media outlets are falling all over themselves in the (probably correct) presumption that the more outrageous their anti-Trump stories (I won’t call it “reporting,” because you can only “report” facts, not fiction), the greater the number of viewers. It’s the same paradigm, you just have to shift your perspective to understand it.

      As usual, follow the money.

    4th armored div in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | July 19, 2017 at 11:26 am

    –> You just have to always remind yourself that they are not neutral, objective journalistic enterprises. They are content creators who are in the business of chasing ratings and selling eyeballs to advertisers. Nothing more. <–

    it was ever thus. check headlines since the time of Benjamin Franklin

      4th armored div in reply to 4th armored div. | July 19, 2017 at 11:35 am

      –>The New York Times used the slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”<–

      All the Nudes that give you fits we print – corrected slow gun.

“Leaders in that room ‘found it unusual and noteworthy, the body language, the chemistry.'” —
Yeah, right. And I suppose he spoke to all the “leaders” in the room and they all said, “You know, I found Trump’s conversation with Putin unusual and noteworthy, the body language, the chemistry.” Whatever that means.

Honestly, news reports with conclusory statements by people who weren’t there are worthless, but that’s just about all we get these days.

LOL. I first heard about this “scoop” on AM radio. I thought it was a parody of the Democrat Media. Heh.

Oh why not – I just sent WaPo a “tip” that Trump’s sister’s dog walker was spotted colluding with a street vendor who’s 2nd cousin’s girlfriend translated English menus for a mail order bride who once slept with a janitor who waxed Putin’s floor.

We should have a contest to see what nonsense we can get the MSM to print. WaxGate! Treason! LOL.

“Leaders in the room found Ian Bremmer’s scrutiny of children in the lobby to be creepy and disturbing.”

I wasn’t there, but my anonymous sources are unimpeachable. Because they are imaginary, like Bremmer’s.

I heard about this on the radio during my morning commute. Apparently the media is apoplectic that: a) they weren’t invited to a world-leaders-only dinner; b) Trump and Putin chatted amicably during said dinner, during which both also chatted with numerous other world leaders; and c) Trump still treats the media as the Opposition Party.

On ‘a’ and ‘b’, they have nothing. It was not a “private, sooper-seekrit meeting” just because the media was not invited. This doesn’t even qualify as “Fake News”.

On ‘c’: [consider this addressed to the media] How can I put this gently…? OF COURSE HE DOES! Y’all in the MSM actively worked against Trump during the campaign and election, pledged to continue actively working against Trump during his term, and all but call yourselves part of “The Resistance”.

Is it any great surprise that he treats you like the Opposition Party, when that’s exactly how you proudly present yourselves?

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