Trump Cancels Meeting With Putin, Citing Naval Clash Between Russia and Ukraine

By Peter Baker | The New York Times |

President Trump spoke to reporters on Thursday before boarding Marine One at the White House.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

BUENOS AIRES — President Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled his planned meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, citing the unresolved naval standoff between Russia and Ukraine and upending his hopes of further cementing the relationship between the two leaders.

The president’s decision, announced on Twitter barely an hour after he told reporters he still expected to go through with the meeting, came shortly after new revelations that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer was secretly negotiating to build a tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential election.

The president has adamantly denied any collusion with Russia during the campaign and dismissed questions about business ventures or economic interests in Russia. But Michael D. Cohen, his former personal lawyer and fixer, admitted in court on Thursday that he had engaged in negotiations for a Moscow tower well into the campaign and personally briefed Mr. Trump and members of his family.

The president’s sudden decision to scrap the meeting was the latest twist in months of efforts to set up a session between the two leaders. Mr. Trump announced the cancellation in a Twitter message while on Air Force One flying to Buenos Aires for an economic summit meeting, where he was scheduled to sit down with Mr. Putin. The Kremlin said it had not even been notified.

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