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Date TimeJune 28, 2019
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Get rid of them: Trump unites with Putin over disdain for journalists who write stories they dont like
Donald Trump has reportedly joked with Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the G20 in Japan over their shared disdain for journalists who write stories they do not approve of.As well as jokingly telling Mr Putin not to “meddle” in America’s 2020 election, Mr Trump bonded with the Russian president in Osaka over their scorn for mainstream media, according to Bloomberg’s White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs. “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn't it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do,” Mr Trump was quoted as telling Mr Putin. “We also have. It’s the same,” Mr Putin reportedly responded in English, before both allegedly laughed. Mr Trump has consistently and repeatedly branded as “fake news” reporting – often demonstrably accurate reporting – which casts him in negative light. In recent months, the US president has escalated his attacks on media outlets by referring to them as the “enemy of the people”, a move critics say could endanger journalists around the world. According to Reporters without Borders, Mr Putin has overseen an increasingly “oppressive” climate for those who question mainstream political discourse in Russia, with more journalists in prison now than at any time since the fall of the Soviet Union. At least 25 journalists have been murdered in the country since Mr Putin first inherited the presidency in 1999, according to rights organisation the Committee to Protect Journalists. “This is disgusting. Putin’s regime has murdered many, many journalists,” said Brian Klaas, a US political scientist at UCL. “And the President of the United States is joking about abusing the press with Russia’s despot, who likely ordered some of those killings.” Video footage of the meeting also picked up Mr Trump telling his Russian counterpart their meeting was “like the Academy Awards used to be”, as media jostled into the room to question and take photos of the pair. It was the latest remarkable meeting between the two leaders, and comes nearly a year after Helsinki, when Mr Trump pointedly did not admonish Mr Putin over election interference and did not side with US intelligence agencies over the Russian president.




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