Trump Jokes With Putin About Election Meddling

'Don't meddle in the election,' he tells him
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 28, 2019 2:37 AM CDT
Trump Jokes With Putin About Election Meddling
President Trump arrives to greet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

With a smirk and a finger point, President Trump dryly told Russia's Vladimir Putin not to "meddle in the election" in their first meeting since special counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia extensively interfered with the 2016 campaign. It was the first time the leaders had met since they sat together publicly in Helsinki nearly a year ago, when Trump pointedly did not admonish Putin over election interference and did not side with US intelligence services over his Russian counterpart. The leaders traded brief remarks Friday about issues they planned to discuss when a reporter shouted to Trump about warning Putin "not to meddle" in the 2020 election. The president answered "Of course" before he turned to Putin, pointed at him, and said, "Don't meddle in the election," the AP reports.

Trump also said he enjoyed a "very, very good relationship" with Putin, and said "many positive things are going to come out of the relationship." The meeting with Putin was the main event on Trump's agenda Friday at the G20 summit in Osaka. But the president also kept an eye on the race to replace him back home, where 10 Democrats debated in Miami. "I just passed a television set on the way here. I saw that health care and maximum health care was given to 100% of the illegal immigrants coming into our country by the Democrats," Trump said, telling German Chancellor Merkel during their meeting that a debate the previous night "wasn't very exciting." "So I look forward to spending time with you rather than watching," he said. Merkel did not react.

(More G20 stories.)

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