Osaka, Japan : President Trump has yet again sparked controversy over his smirky comments on sidelines of G20 Summit while talking to his Russian counterpart.
During a press briefing Mr Trump can be seen wagging his finger at Putin while asking him to : “Don’t meddle in the election, please.”
In a meeting with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit on Friday, Pres. Trump seemed to brush off Russia's election interference as a joke: "Don't meddle in the election." https://t.co/PdYAauYDO7 pic.twitter.com/g6I81rRgTb
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 29, 2019
The comment followed a smile from a Putin.
Both were visible having a good time warmly shooking eachother’s hands, smiling and chatting amiably.
Post findings of Robert Mueller investigation, it was the pairs first meeting. The report, which was highly anticipated in US media circles and political spectrum, concluded that Russia was behind an effort to influence the presidential election with a state-authorised campaign of cyber-attacks and fake news stories planted on social media. However what was key and unprecedented was Special counsel’s statement in report saying it had not established that the Trump campaign criminally conspired with Russia to influence the election, although it did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice towards the investigation of the case.
Russian premier however sparked controversy even before landing in Japan
in an interview given to Financial Times published Friday.
He lashed out at liberalism reflecting his views and saying it was “obsolete”, and praised the rise of populism both in Europe and the US while also describing Mr Trump as a “talented person” who knew how to relate to voters.
When President Trump tried to have some common ground sitting with Mr Putin for photographs he quipped, lashing out at free speech and media, that “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do,” Trump said.
To which Putin responded, in English: “We also have. It’s the same.”
Words matter, Mr. President. Joking with Vladimir Putin about "getting rid" of journalists is not funny at all. It puts journalists at risk. https://t.co/DG8lccvp5m
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) June 28, 2019
The scathing statement comes in a backdrop when Russia has a recent record of 26 journalists murdered on its soil.