President Donald Trump issued a casual warning about meddling in the upcoming election to Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday at the G-20 summit.
Trump and Putin met for the first time in almost a year Friday ahead of discussions about mending the tense relationship between the two countries. Towards the end of the meeting, a journalist asked Trump if he was going to tell Putin not to meddle in the 2020 election.
“Yes, of course I will,” Trump replied, causing Putin to laugh.
“Don’t meddle in the election, please,” Trump said twice, wagging his finger at Putin.
The two countries have not met since special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation ended. His investigation found that Russia had interfered with the 2016 presidential election, although there was not sufficient evidence that Trump himself had colluded with the country.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2019
During the meeting, Trump and Putin also joked about getting rid of journalists, The Guardian reported.
“Get rid of them [journalists],” Trump said during Friday’s meeting. “Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do.”
Putin replied by saying that Russia had problems with journalists too, The Guardian reported. Trump has been vocal about the press being the “enemy of the people” and calls out the “fake news” media consistently.
Despite the lighthearted conversation, Russia and the U.S. have remained on opposite sides of many issues. Russia has detained a former marine on espionage charges, have been accused of meddling in the 2016 election and disagrees with Trump on the rising issues with Iran. (RELATED: NYT: Pentagon, Intel Officials Have ‘Broad Hesitation’ To Tell Trump Details About Russia Operations, Sources Say)
Putin has denied that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and even though the two countries sit on tense grounds, Trump said that the relationship with Putin is “very, very good,” CNN reported.
“We have many things to discuss, including trade and some disarmament, some little protectionism, in a very positive way,” Trump told reporters according to CNN.
Trump also said that “many positive things are going to come out of the relationship” with Russia.
The G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, is an international forum for 19 countries and the European Union. Discussions about Iran and tariff talks with China are expected to occur during the event, according to VOA News and CNN.
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