HAMBURG, Germany (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump met face-to-face for the first time Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany.
Trump said it was an “honor” to be with Putin as the two shook hands.
“President Putin and I have been discussing various things and I think it’s going very well. We’ve had some very, very good talks,” the president told reporters. “We look forward to a lot of good, positive things happening.”
Trump didn’t waste any time getting down to business. He opened the two hour and 15 minute meeting by talking about Russian interference in the presidential election.
“The president pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.
The two also agreed to a ceasefire in southwest Syria beginning Sunday. The United States has supported anti-Syrian-government forces in the conflict, while Russia has been propping up the Assad regime.
“I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria,” Tillerson said.
Speaking on Thursday in Poland, Trump took a tough stance against Moscow ahead of Friday’s meeting with Putin.
“We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran,” the president said during a public speech in Warsaw.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was among a group of Senate Democrats calling on the president to confront Putin about election meddling, saying failing to do so would be a “severe dereliction of duty.”
The meeting went well past its scheduled time, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported. Tillerson said First Lady Melania Trump even tried to break them up, but it didn’t work.
Trump also had a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“We are negotiating NAFTA and some other things with Mexico,” he said. “We’ll see how it all turns out.”
The two have been at odds over Trump’s demand that Mexico pay for a border wall. Pena Nieto cancelled a meeting at the White House earlier this year.
When asked whether he still thinks Mexico will pay for the wall, Trump replied, “absolutely.”
Later, the heads of state gathered for a concert at a theater in Hamburg.
Meanwhile, demonstrators continued their violent protests outside the summit. They even successfully blocked the first lady from leaving her hotel Friday morning.
Earlier Friday morning, the president tweeted that he looked forward to “all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss.”