As US President Donald Trump continues his first official tour of Asia, many have speculated over a possible and highly-anticipated meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as the two world leaders attend a summit in Vietnam. Shortly before Trump landed in Vietnam, his fourth stop on his Asia-Pacific trip, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that a formal meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) was "never confirmed."
"Regarding a Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed, and there will not be one that takes place due to scheduling conflicts on both sides," Sanders said.
"Now, they're going to be in the same place. Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely. But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there's not one on the calendar and we don't anticipate that there will be one."
Prior to kicking off his 13-day tour of Asia, Trump said that he would likely meet with Putin during the conference. Although the meeting was never on the president's public schedule, a Kremlin spokesman said Thursday (9 November) that it would likely take place on Friday, ABC News reported.
The Kremlin said earlier that the "likelihood is great" for a meeting between the two leaders. On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Beijing that the meeting was "still under consideration."
The possible meeting would come at a time when special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Trump's team and Moscow continues to heat up with the first charges filed in late October.
As anticipation continues to mount, Twitter naturally proceeded to speculate over the possible meeting and key topics of discussion between the two. The presidents last met during the during the G20 summit in Germany in July.
Many people questioned the White House's stance that a formal meeting has not been scheduled for Trump and Putin.
"Diplomatic summits are extremely choreographed. If a world leader like Trump doesn't want to cross paths with someone, he won't. So if Trump 'bumps into' Putin, it will not be by accident," CNBC's Christina Wilkie tweeted.
"So in other words the secret meeting is already planned, it will just occur by happenstance..." one Twitter user said.
Others taunted Trump over the potential meeting with many calling it his "annual performance review."
"Rex Tillerson says @realDonaldTrump will discuss election meddling with Putin. By discuss he means. Trump will thank him in person," one person tweeted.
Another joked: "Putin to meet with Trump in Vietnam Friday to place him on a Performance Improvement Plan."
"I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that one," one user tweeted.