The claim: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met in DC on July 26
Former President Donald Trump returned to Washington, D.C., in late July, making his first appearance in the nation’s capital since leaving office in 2021. A Facebook post claimed Trump had a high-profile meeting with a controversial world leader during his brief visit.
“Breaking News! Trump & Putin are meeting in DC today!” read the July 26 post, which was shared more than 250 times in one day.
Trump gave a speech to the America First Policy Institute on July 26, but there are no reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the U.S. Putin’s last documented international visit was to Iran, and a slew of U.S. sanctions against him in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine make it unlikely he could or would come to the country.
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USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the claim for comment.
Putin’s last known U.S. visit was in 2015
The U.S. Treasury Department in February announced sanctions against Putin, including blocking any of his U.S. “property and interests in property,” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In May, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the country was permanently banning nearly 1,000 Americans from entering its borders, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Trump, who invited Putin to the White House when he was in office, was not on the list.
Days later, the White House announced further measures designed to “turn Russia into a global financial pariah,” which included targeting Russian government officials and business leaders as well as restricting the Russian military’s ability to obtain U.S.-origin products and technologies.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Trump and Putin met in Washington, D.C., on July 26. While Trump did give a speech in the nation’s capital that day, Putin’s last known trip abroad was to Iran. Current U.S. sanctions against him also make it improbable Putin would have come to the country.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, July 26, ‘They want to damage me’: Donald Trump takes aim at critics, Biden in return to Washington
- CNN, July 20, Putin arrives in Iran for first trip outside former Soviet Union since his invasion of Ukraine
- The Kremlin, July 19, Trips
- The White House, June 2, FACT SHEET: United States Takes Further Actions to Counter Sanctions Evasion by Russia
- USA TODAY, May 22, Russia bans 963 Americans from the country including Biden, Harris, Zuckerberg. But not Trump.
- U.S. Treasury, Feb. 25, U.S. Treasury Imposes Sanctions on Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov
- Reuters, Oct. 26, 2018, White House invites Putin to Washington
- USA TODAY, Oct. 26, 2018, Trump administration invites Putin to Washington for 2019 visit
- The Kremlin, Sept. 28, 2015, 70th session of the UN General Assembly
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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.