In a classic power move, Putin kept Trump waiting for almost an hour before their meeting began.
Trump's summit with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has been shaping up to be a disaster for weeks. And sure enough, Putin knew just how to gain the upper hand on Trump leading up to Monday's meeting in Helsinki, Finland.
According to the official White House press schedule, Trump and Putin were supposed to begin their meeting at 1:20 p.m., local time. But when pool cameras were finally summoned for a photo op at the top of the meeting, it was about fifty minutes past that scheduled start time.
"The notoriously late Russian President Vladimir Putin kept POTUS cooling his heels in his guest house for close to an hour past his planned departure time," a pool report noted.
According to the UK Independent, Putin makes a habit of keeping world leaders waiting as a power move.
And despite Trump's desperate sucking up, Putin made him wait, too — for even longer than the 40 minutes he kept President Obama waiting in 2012.
When the pair finally did meet, Trump bathed Putin in compliments, while Putin was cool towards Trump.
Trump also conspicuously failed to mention the 12 Russian intelligence officials who were just indicted for hacking U.S. elections when he listed the topics he planned to discuss with Putin at the summit.
In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor over the weekend, Trump was caught off guard when Glor asked if he would demand the extradition of those indicted Russians.
Trump said he had "never thought of" making such a demand, but told Glor he would "certainly ... be asking about it."
But Trump didn't bring up any contentious issues during his much-delayed photo op with Putin.
And since Trump foolishly agreed to meet with Putin alone for the first hour and a half, the world may never know with any confidence what the two actually did talk about.
If Putin's power move at the top of the meeting is any indication, that discussion will not include anything approaching justice for Russia's attack on our elections, or any of their other outrageous actions.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.