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Putin Gave Trump A Soccer Ball As A World Cup Gesture. Trump Tossed It To Melania, Saying Barron Will Have It.

People are advising Trump (or, rather, his son Barron) to microwave the ball for potential bugs.

Posted on July 16, 2018, at 12:49 p.m. ET

During the 👀-inducing meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, viewers around the world tuned in and waited with bated breath to see what would unfurl between the two controversial world leaders.

Yuri Kadobnov / AFP / Getty Images

Few people, however, anticipated this: In the middle of their joint news conference, President Putin gave President Trump a soccer ball as a symbolic gesture toward congratulating the US for winning a bid to cohost the World Cup in 2026 with Canada and Mexico. "Now the ball is in your court," Putin said while handing the gift over.

Yuri Kadobnov / AFP / Getty Images

Now, stately gifts from foreign leaders are usually intended for the entire nation. But Trump did not subscribe to this idea. He thanked Putin, then announced that the gift will actually "go to my son Barron," and proceeded to toss it to first lady Melania Trump in the audience. The ball bounced away.

"Now the ball is in your court," Russian President Putin tosses President Trump a soccer ball after Russia hosted the World Cup.

People were...shocked? Confused? Baffled? Worried (for Melania, specifically)? Pick two.

Trump threw the ball at Melania. SMH.

trump just threw a soccer ball at melania during the press conference... is this real life

Some immediately speculated that the soccer ball was bugged.

So everyone agrees that soccer ball Putin gave Trump is bugged, right?

Including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham: "If it were me, I'd check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House," he tweeted.

Finally, if it were me, I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.

And some advised Trump (or, rather, Barron) to microwave it first.

Some unsolicited advice for President Trump: Microwave that soccer ball before you give it to your son.

Meanwhile, Melania retrieved the ball and sat in the audience cradling it.

.@FLOTUS Melania Trump with World Cup ball

She reportedly handed off the ball to a Secret Service agent afterward.

. @FLOTUS gets up to leave, hands soccer ball to a @SecretService agent.


Yuri Kadobnov / AFP / Getty Images


Barron Trump's name was misspelled in a previous version of this post.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.