Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a secret meeting during the G20 summit, attended only by Putin's translator, US media is reporting.
The undisclosed meeting between the two presidents took place during a dinner for the various heads of state and their spouses in Hamburg, according to the Eurasia consultancy boss Ian Bremmer, who was first to report the meeting in a note to clients.
The lack of a U.S. translator raised eyebrows among other leaders at the dinner, Bremmer said. The consultant called it a "breach of national security protocol."
The pair's relationship is under intense scrutiny, following revelations that his own met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskya over receiving intelligence to discredit presidential rival Hillary Clinton.
A number of other Trump associates, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, have been named as part of an ongoing probe.
Putin and Trump held a formal two-hour meeting, in which Trump said Putin "vehemently denied" allegations that he directed efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
The topic of conversation during their second, secret, meeting has not been disclosed.
Predictably, Trump has dismissed the claims he had a dinner with Putin as "fake news" and "sick" - although he has not commented on the allegations he had a secret meeting alone with the Russian president.
Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is "sick." All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017