United States President Donald Trump on Friday asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to not meddle in the U.S. elections.
Trump and Putin were speaking to reporters ahead of the bilateral summit between US and Russia on the sidelines of G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Before the meeting, a reporter shouted to Trump about warning Putin “not to meddle” in the 2020 election.
Trump replied: “Yes, of course, I will”. He then turned towards his counterpart and pointing a finger at Putin Trump said, “Don’t meddle in the election, please,” drawing a laugh from his counterpart.
The comments were in light of a scandal that led to an investigation of his 2016 US election campaigns that were allegedly meddled by Kremlin.
According to some international reports, in a further attempt to lighten the mood, Trump sought common ground with Putin at the the expense of the journalists who gathered to catch the leaders at the outset of their meeting.
“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.”
A U.S. special counsel, Robert Mueller, conducted a two-year an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
Remember, the censored version of US council Robert Mueller’s report on alleged meddling, published in April did not establish a criminal the conspiracy between the Trump side and Russia to swing the results in Trump’s favour.
Meanwhile, US’s tension is rising with Iran, a Russian ally, after Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal. After, attacks on oil tankers followed by shooting down of US drone, Trump talks tough.
Relations between the two countries have been sour for years, post the Cold War. It worsened after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.
Trump also met the head of the states of Japan and India at the JAI Trilateral in Osaka with Trump administration having ongoing trade feuds with both India and Japan