What a soccer ball said about Putin’s meeting with Trump in Helsinki

HELSINKI — In any other diplomatic setting, it would have been a funny, even insignificant gesture: One president handed a soccer ball, a symbol of teamwork and competition used in the most popular sport in the world, to another, just after the World Cup final.

But in this case, according to analysts and lawmakers who watched the Monday news conference between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, the ball was a metaphor for the gamesmanship that Putin’s many...

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