Effectively alone and in secret, though in a room full of others, with only Putin's interpreter for company for a full hour at the G-20.
No American witnesses.
Remind you of the talk of setting up a backchannel in the Russian Embassy for Trump to communicate with Putin while keeping the US government, intelligence agencies, and "deep state" totally in the dark?
A channel for communications to be kept secret from the Americans.
Even people who are alarmed are still trying to paint this stuff as innocently as possible.
It's just Trump trying to avoid Cold War II, a policy of unnecessary and unprovoked hostility toward what is by far not the worst government in the world, and not the most immediate threat to the US (that would be North Korea), without that pesky "deep state" sabotaging his innocent and well-meant efforts to "normalize" relations with a great European power.
Just trying to implement Buchananism, in other words.
And, really, what do we care whether the Baltic States, or even Ukraine, are Russian satellites or not?
Or even whether Putin decides to annex them to the Russian Federation?
No skin off our nose, right?
It's not innocent.
It's not legitimate.
And Trump is Putin's man.