White House spokesman refuses to confirm Trump-Putin summit lasted more than two hours
Trump's relationship with Moscow has stalked the first year of his presidency, with key former aides under a US investigation for alleged collaboration with the Kremlin. (SPUTNIK/AFP / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV)

A White House spokesman refused to confirm even the most basic facts about the private meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.


The pair met Monday in Helsinki, Finland, for a one-on-one meeting to discuss trade, the military, missiles, nuclear and China, according to Trump's public statement before the summit.

Trump did not say whether he would bring up Russian interference in the U.S. election, after a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in the hacking of Democratic groups and state election agencies.

The two leaders remained behind closed doors for at least two hours before dining with officials from each nation in the Hall of Mirrors at the Finnish Presidential Palace.

But White House spokesman Hogan Gidley refused to confirm the meeting had lasted two hours, 10 minutes, according to Politico reporter Annie Karni.

A Finnish official told reporters the meeting had continued past two hours before they adjourned for the luncheon.