President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an economic summit in Vietnam Friday, a Kremlin spokesperson said according to CNBC.
“Right now the time of the meeting is being agreed,” Putin spokesman Yuri Ushakov told reporters Thursday. “As for the content of the meeting, there is no agreed agenda.”
Ushakov previously said it would be “entirely logical” for the two to shake hands and discuss geopolitics.
Both leaders are expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation meeting in Danang, Vietnam.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously downplayed the possibility of a meeting, telling reporters during Trump’s trip to Asia that “We’re working with the Russians, as you know, in a number of very difficult areas. And we have been in contact with them.”
“The view has been if the two leaders are going to meet, is there something sufficiently substantive to talk about that would warrant a formal meeting?” Tillerson said.
The two leaders first met in Germany during the G-20 summit in July.
The meeting comes just days after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his top deputy, Rick Gates, were indicted by special counsel Bob Mueller’s prosecutors in the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump team and the Kremlin.
While Manafort and Gates are charged with money laundering crimes not directly tied to the campaign, though suggesting much deeper ties to the Russians than previously revealed, several other campaign aides are in serious hot water after they were revealed to at the very least trying to collude with the Russians.
Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials. While the campaigned aide appears to have gotten catfished by a woman he believed was Putin’s niece but was not, he did have contact with a Kremlin-linked professor who said the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Papadopoulos repeatedly tried to set up a meeting between Trump officials and Kremlin officials and spoke to his superiors about his efforts to obtain dirt from the Russians. His guilty plea revealed that Trump himself, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other top campaign officials were fully aware of Papadopoulos’ efforts.
The news also comes after fellow foreign policy adviser Carter Page revealed that he met with Russian government officials during a trip to Russia during the campaign.
The talkative former aide testified before the House Intelligence Committee for eight hours this week, revealing that top Trump campaign officials were fully aware of his trip.
Along with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, Carter revealed he told Sessions about his trip.
“I mentioned it briefly to Senator Sessions as I was walking out the door, that I’m, you know – I’m – because I remember it was actually right – I forget the exact date, but it was the Thursday night before I flew to Moscow to give my speech. So I mentioned to him in passing, so – as we were walking out the door,” Page testified.
“I’ll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration here,” Page wrote in an email to campaign officials after the trip.