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Once Putin and Trump Got Talking, Not Even Melania Could Break It Up

Once President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin started talking Friday, nothing was going to interrupt them – not even first lady Melania Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed how officials tried to keep some semblance of scheduling order when the meeting — which was supposed to run for 30 minutes — extended to an hour.

First, Tillerson tried the subtle approach.

“Several times I had to remind the president. People were sticking their heads in the door,” Tillerson said.

Then, he said, officials tried a different tactic – send in the spouse.

“They even sent in the first lady at one point to see if she could get us out of there, and that didn’t work either,” Tillerson said. “We went another hour after she came in to see us, so clearly she failed.”

The first lady did get to meet Putin when her husband and the Russian leader finished the meeting, clocked at two hours and 16 minutes. Photos of the meeting show the former model towering over Putin.

Melania Trump was supposed to participate in events for the spouses of world leaders, but security concerns kept her in her guest house instead.

“Hamburg police couldn’t provide clearance for us to leave,” said the first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham.

However. she did manage to arrive, as Vanity Fair put it, “hours late, to the summit — in time for her husband and Putin to make clear that just about nothing could come between their budding special relationship.”

As for the substance of the Trump-Putin meeting, Tillerson said Trump challenged Putin about Russian interference in the U.S. election, a claim Russia denied.

“The two agreed this was a substantial hindrance to the ability to move the Russian-U.S. relationship forward,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson said Putin and Trump “connected very quickly” and had “positive chemistry,” focusing on ways to move forward as opposed to “re-litigating” the past. The secretary of state also said the conversations between the two men could lay a foundation for changes in Syria, where Russia supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the U.S. is aiding forces opposed to him.