Outside the Box: If Russia really controlled Trump, he wouldn’t be publicly siding with Putin

By and large, high-level summits between world leaders don’t matter. Agendas are set weeks in advance. A series of agreements — mostly symbolic – are negotiated ahead of time, with documents ready to be signed. Private meetings usually involve several aides to help the leaders and to ensure that they stick to the script.

President Donald Trump approaches summits differently from his predecessors. Rather than months of preparation at lower levels, he enters meetings prepared to improvise. He has been deeply criticized for this approach, particularly by those officials who would normally be called upon to prepare for meetings, but it isn’t clear that the old method worked.

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