FIRST AIRED: November 29, 2018

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> On his way to the G20 summit in Argentina, President Trump abruptly cancelled his planned meeting with Vladimir Putin. Tweeting his disapproval of Russia's treatment of Ukraine, and casting new uncertainty over US-Russia ties. His decision only an hour after he said this about the meeting.>> I think it's a very good time to have the meeting.
00:00:21
>> Trump said he pulled out due to tensions over Russian forces opening fire on Ukranian Navy boats and then seizing them and their crew on Sunday near Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Canceling will likely be cheered by America's western allies. Matt Spetalnick is covering the summit from Argentina for Reuters.
00:00:41
>> Holding a meeting at this moment with the Russian president would've perhaps sent a message that Washington was taking a soft approach to the issue of Ukraine. The NATO allies particular point out that Trump criticism meant quite a bit, especially over the defense spending and is very reluctant to take on Putin in any way.
00:01:04
>> Trump's decision also came hours after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about working on a proposed Trump real estate project in Moscow while Trump was running for president.>> We decided, I decided ultimately not to do it. There would've been nothing wrong if I did do it.
00:01:22
If I did do it, there would've been nothing wrong. That was my business.>> It would've been the first summit between the leaders, since their infamous press conference in Helsinki in July.>> Critics and many other foreign leaders, as well as US lawmakers, saw it as being a disaster.
00:01:38
>> I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.>> He was seen as bowing to Putin's denial of any election meddling in the US, which went completely contradictory to the findings of Trump's own US intelligence community.
00:02:02
>> The decision to cancel the meeting appeared to catch the Kremlin by surprise. Earlier on Thursday, Russia said Washington had confirmed the meeting was on. The Kremlin spokesman said that if it was cancelled, Putin would have some extra time for a useful meeting at the G20 summit.