On Friday, President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin while both attend the G-20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, Germany.
Trump’s much anticipated encounter with the Russian leader is not the first highly orchestrated meeting between an American president and Putin.
In his 2016 memoir “41: A Portrait Of My Father,” former President George W. Bush wrote about a friendly fishing weekend with his father, former president George H.W. Bush, and Putin.
“In early 2007, I called Dad and asked him if he would invite President Vladimir Putin of Russia to Walker’s Point (the Bush family home in Kennebunkport, Maine),” Bush writes.
Reflecting on his father’s life and leadership, Bush described how the pair hosted Putin for a weekend of boating and discussions about missile defence systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.
The elder Bush was happy to process the request. “Just let me know what you need, son,” he said.
“When Putin arrived on July 1, 2007, Dad met his plane at the airport in New Hampshire and accompanied him on the helicopter ride to Walker’s Point. Then he took both of us for a speedboat ride,” the younger Bush wrote.
“Although initially startled by the idea of an 83-year-old former president driving the boat at top speed, Putin loved the ride. (His interpreter looked like he was about to fly out the back of the boat.)”
“The next morning, we had a long conversation about missile defence, in which we found some common ground. We then went fishing. Fittingly, Putin was the only one who caught anything,” Bush continued.
(In 2009, the US and Russia announced a “reset” in relations. It hasn’t worked out.)
Amanda Macias contributed to this report.
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