President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump took off for Argentina Thursday morning, preparing for 48 hours worth of meetings with world leaders and tweeting from Air Force One.
Their departure comes after the president spent 12 minutes talking to reporters before he left the White House, mainly about the fact his former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his business talks with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
But he also told reporters his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, set for Saturday here, was on.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump took off for Argentina Thursday morning
They left the White House after President Trump talked to reporters for 12 minutes
The president did a 180 shortly after take off, tweeting that the sit down was canceled, citing three Ukrainian ships seized by Russia.
There was a mere hour’s worth of time between his contradicting statement.
‘Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting…
…in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!,’ Trump wrote in a pair of tweets from the presidential plane.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner walk to board Marine One to travel to Argentina
Trump tweeted the cancellation less than an hour after he boarded Air Force One
He cited the three Ukrainian ships seized by Russia as the reason
The first lady also tweeted from Air Force One
But the meeting would have come under the cloud of questions about Cohen’s relationship with Moscow – and what he told the president while Trump was trying to win the White House.
Trump is likely still feeling the sting of his last sit down with Putin, which was their Helsinki summit in July, when the president was criticized for appearing to deferential to his Russian counterpart.
The president bashed Cohen, his former confidant, as he left the White House, saying he’s ‘making up a story’ and ‘lying, very simply, to get a reduced sentence.’
Melania Trump also tweeted from the presidential plane, posting a video of a town hall on opioid addiction she attended at Liberty University on Wednesday.
‘I believe education and learning is key to making the right decisions on your own behalf,’ she wrote.
With a 10-hour flight ahead of them, there is plenty of time to tweet more.
Spotted leaving with the first couple were Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump along with the president’s outgoing personal aide Jordan Karen.
Saudi Arabia´s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport in Buenos Aires
Canada´s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and first lady Sophie Gregoire arrive in Buenos Aires
Emmanuel Macron and Argentina´s President Mauricio Macri at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires with their wives
Other world leaders have already been spotted arriving for the G20, including Canada´s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and first lady Sophie Gregoire; French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron; and Saudi Arabia´s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.