At G20, Trump and Putin discuss protectionism, Iran, election meddling.
Meeting in Osaka, Japan this Friday as part of the G20 summit, President Trump and Vladimir Putin had just given brief opening remarks. Then, a reporter asked whether the American President would raise the issue of election meddling.
“Yes, of course I will,” Mr. Trump said. Without looking at Putin, he raised a finger and said: “Don’t meddle in the election, President.” He smiled, a little. “Don’t—don’t meddle in the election.” Find a clip of the whole moment here.
The two leaders, according to a release from the White House talked about trade, “some disarmament,” and “good protectionism.” The importance of improved relationships between the U.S. and Russia was a focus of the two leader’s conversation. Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine were also discussed. Putin, in his short remarks, emphasized this meeting was a “great opportunity.”
Left undiscussed were the circumstances under which Trump canceled his last formal meeting with Putin, at the G20 in Buenos Aire. That decision was prompted by the seizure of three Ukrainian ships by Russian forces. “We haven’t discussed them,” Trump said. “Haven’t discussed them.”
Britain has been less open to improved relations with Russia. British Prime Minister Theresa May told Putin in their formal meeting: “there cannot be a normalization of our bilateral relationship until Russia stops the irresponsible and destabilizing activity that threatens the UK and its allies.”