What did Trump and Putin talk about in their private G20 chat, previously undisclosed?

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/19/putin-trump-g20.html


If anything, it’s very dumb to do this sort of thing without your own translator.

The function of a translator in such talks goes way beyond just translating. It gives you time to consider your answer, especially if you speak at least a little of the other language. You have a witness and somebody who can write a transcript or memo afterwards, and a contact report for the intelligence services.
And, last but not least, if things don’t work out, there is always falling back to the old “it was just an unfortunate misunderstanding due to a translation error” to enable both parties to get out of a sticky situation qithout losing face.



I never really liked Alaska anyway.


Trading porn.


“What did President Trump think he was doing, when he stepped aside from his seated place at the G20 dinner table next to Japan’s Shinzo Abe, and walked all the way around to the other side of the table to cozy up to Russian President Vladimir Putin?”

Hey, now this I can’t blame him. I’ve been places where you only have one friend in the room…


Secretary of The Navy to Chief of Naval Operations: “Move the subs…again.”


When I first heard the story, I was like WTF? But, then finding out that it was at the end of a big dinner, which is far from secret, there are literally pictures and video, and most likely audio.
Then finding out that Melania was actually seated next to Putin, on purpose, because they both speak German and can have a conversation. So when Trump goes over, he’s really just joining his wife who is talking to Putin. So technically Melania could be the translator, she speaks 5 languages including some slavic ones, I would expect she would have passing russian. It would also be really rude for Putin to switch to russian to talk to trump with Melania there, although I wouldn’t put it past him.
The fact that he was seated beside 2 other attendees wives is funny, at first glance. But then everyone is seated in this more informal organization. And no one notices that he is actually sitting directly across from Angela Merkel, which makes that placement a bit more prestigious.

Now, I definitely want trump impeached and he and his whole family put in jail, or banished to some far flung island. And I agree that any Russia collusion news helps drives the nail further, but the media does need to make sure they aren’t going breitbart hyperbolic and blowing things out. That just gives the trumpetts actual facts (which they usually have none) that they can use to validate the fake news crap.
Unfortunately, the actual events don’t really look suspicious at all, just really stupid with all the russian collusion stuff going on. But it does undermine the case if they have the facts on their side and can actually give truthful points that prove that the media is making stuff up or exaggerating suspicions which just undermines the media’s credibility.

There is ample evidence on how trump is beyond guilty of so many things, but we need to be cautious and fully understand the information and not just knee-jerk believe things because it fits our worldview. We don’t need too.


Yeah I agree with you on this one. Not sure there was anything here. Much bigger stories to report on.

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I get what you’re saying. The media shouldn’t give in to speculation since it just emboldens the other side.

But, really, if this were any other president, having this kind of meeting with a non-ally would be news. Speculation of collusion aside, this event is newsworthy. And people should be interested in what was said during the conversation. We shouldn’t be treating him lightly just because it hurts our case against him.


Where best to process the grift through. Cyprus being too obvious going forward.


I see it as a wanna be oligarch taking lessons at the knee of a successful oligarch.


Oh, I definitely want to know what was said. It’s just the speculation makes it seem like they secretly went to some private room for some back channel discussions. Which it wasn’t.
They really need to find audio from the room, all those centerpieces on the table must have been bugged, or there totally was someone with a parabolic mic in there. At least find some better video and bring in lip readers to figure out what they were saying. That would be fun :slight_smile:

I’d like to poll the readers here: Who really thinks Putin needs a translator to speak with Trump (or anyone else who speaks English)?

There seems to be significant evidence he has no problems:

The guy worked internationally in his spy days.

My guess is this is a ruse - he uses translators as a symbolic gesture in appealing to his fellow Russians. It’s for show.


Hell, I’m a native English speaker, and I’d need a translator to speak to Trump…


It’s simple. For him to understand you, just keep your words to one syllable or less. For you to understand him, stop listening to his words and go read twitter.


I think Barron should maybe get off for time served.


This is not informal; it’s the rule for formal dinners - always separate the couples, and seat M-F-M-F around the table. This is done to give everyone a chance at new conversational partners, and to avoid things like married couples rehashing their arguments and romantically inclined couples from PDA.


He’s so bad at this stuff.

Donnie, whether you talked about Russian investments, the investigation into collusion, the pee-pee tapes, or smoked salmon, when people ask about a one-hour-long pull-aside meeting, you don’t freak out, call names, and insult people. You smile and laugh and say “Vladimir and I had a lot to catch up on, even after our long meeting earlier; he and I had a lot to talk about and had agreed to put it off until after dinner. We have a great relationship and made a lot of progress on many issues.”

Oh, wait, that’s what an experienced statesman would’ve done.


Trumputin: Agent Orange reporting for duty, sir!
Putin: Sit! Sit boy, sit, speak into the flower arrangement please! Agent M and I were just discussing the Baltics.
Trumputin: What is that?
Agent M: Idiot! Where is that… (slaps gropey little hand)
Putin: Have some cake.
Trumputin: I wike chocolate! (loud slobbering and masticating sounds)
Putin: So, we were just about to discuss Phase II of destroying western liberal democracies…
Trumputin: Crushing the fake news media? To hear the lamentation of their (hot) women?
Putin: No no boychek! Fox news is in on the joke, they’ll carry my water to hell and back! (downs shot of vodka)
Agent M: Only a moran believes that crap, but you’ve superglued the channel to Fox ‘news’ (face palm)
Trumputin: Did lil Donny get the most recent payout from… Surplus?
Agent M: Cyprus you dolt! (additional face palms)
Putin: Not to worry my golden fox, simply drop your fork and go beneath the table cloth to find your reward…
Trumputin: Hey you aren’t wearing any pants! (muffled slurping and gobbling sounds)
Agent M: Again? You two need a room. One with plastic covers over the mattress evidently…
Putin: (wry smile)
Agent M: (vomits quietly into designer purse)

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