When Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump appeared before cameras today at the beginning of their private meeting in Hamburg, it seemed clear that Putin had at least one agenda item to check off.
As the two men sat in front of the whirring cameras, both made reference to how nice it was to meet in person. Trump told Putin “it is an honor to be with you.”
The Russian president then said, through his translator,
“Your excellency, Mr. President, we spoke over the phone to you several times on very important bilateral and international issues, but phone conversation is never enough, definitely.”
Putin seemed to want to make it clear that he had never previously met Donald Trump.
The issue of the relationship between the two leaders is all tied up in Trump’s previous statements, which are obviously total lies.
In October 2013, Trump told talk show host David Letterman that he had met Putin once, although he didn’t elaborate about where or when. Over the course of the next year or so, Trump repeatedly stated that he had a “relationship” with Putin and that he had contact with the Russian leader during the Miss Universe pageant. At one point he stated that he spoken directly to Putin, who “couldn’t have been nicer.”
In November 2015, during one of the Republican debates, Trump said this about Putin:
“I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates.”
So we have at least two definite instances where Donald Trump stated in public, and on tape, that he had met Vladimir Putin, that he knew him well, and that they had a good relationship.
But those were lies.
First off, Putin didn’t attend the glitzy Miss Universe pageant that Trump had in Moscow in 2013. Trump repeated encouraged him to come, on Twitter and in interviews, but the President was not in attendance.
Then there’s the famous “stablemates” story. As reported by Time, although Putin and Trump did appear on the same episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes, the real estate tycoon was interviewed in New York City, while the Russian President was taped in Moscow.
Not only did they never meet, they weren’t even on the same continent.
Today Vladimir Putin declared, for the whole world to hear, that it was his very first face to face meeting with Donald J. Trump.
At this point, it may not matter very much whether or not the two had previously met. What matters is that the current President of the United States of America has been caught out in two whopping, bald faced lies.
If he is so willing to lie about the small stuff just to make himself look bigger, how can we ever trust anything he says about the big stuff?
How can any other world leader trust him or believe him?
Featured image via Kremlin. ru