US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP / SAUL LOEB
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At long last face to face, President Donald Trump confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin directly Friday over Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, as the two leaders sought to use their historic first meeting to move past the issue.In a two-hours-plus meeting in Germany, Trump and Putin had a "robust and lengthy" discussion about the interference, though Putin denied involvement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. Trump's decision to raise the issue directly with Putin fulfilled ardent demands by U.S. lawmakers of both parties that the president not shy away from the issue in his highly anticipated meeting with Putin.Still, Tillerson said no next meeting for Putin and Trump had been scheduled.Trump listened intently as Putin spoke.The heavily anticipated meeting has been closely scrutinized for signs of how friendly a rapport Trump and Putin will have. Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama, had notoriously strained ties to Putin, and Trump has expressed an interest in a better U.S.-Russia relationship.
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