‘Don’t meddle in the election’: Donald Trump jokes about Mueller report during meeting with Vladimir Putin in Osaka

Much of Donald Trump's time in office has been overshadowed by allegations Moscow helped get him elected, but when it came to confronting Vladimir Putin on the issue, the US president did it in a joke

Agence France-Presse June 28, 2019 21:56:40 IST
‘Don’t meddle in the election’: Donald Trump jokes about Mueller report during meeting with Vladimir Putin in Osaka
  • 'Don't meddle in the election, president, don't meddle,' Trump said with a smile, wagging his finger playfully at Putin

  • The meeting was the first time the two leaders have held face-to-face talks since a controversial meeting last year in Helsinki

  • Trump has been dogged throughout his presidency by allegations of suspicious ties to Russia

Osaka: Much of Donald Trump's time in office has been overshadowed by allegations Moscow helped get him elected, but when it came to confronting Vladimir Putin on the issue, the US president did it in a joke.

"Don't meddle in the election, president, don't meddle," Trump said with a smile, wagging his finger playfully at the Russian leader as the pair held talks in Osaka on Friday, on the sidelines of the G20.

Dont meddle in the election Donald Trump jokes about Mueller report during meeting with Vladimir Putin in Osaka

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. AP

Putin said nothing, but grinned in response to the comment, which came only after a reporter shouted a question, asking whether Trump would warn his Russian counterpart about influencing the presidential vote next year. The meeting was the first time the two leaders have held face-to-face talks since a controversial meeting last year in Helsinki.

Trump has been dogged throughout his presidency by allegations of suspicious ties to Russia. A major probe led by special prosecutor Robert Mueller found there was an organised Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election won by Trump.

It found contacts between Russian operatives and Trump's election campaign, but no evidence of a joint plot, and the US leader has characterised the findings as exonerating him.

Ahead of his meeting with Putin, Trump brushed aside questions from reporters about what they would discuss. "What I say to him is none of your business," he said at the White House.

But on Friday Trump said the pair would be discussing "trade... some disarmament, a little protectionism perhaps". "A lot of very positive things are going to come out of the relationship," he predicted, to smiles from Putin.

"I cannot but agree with Mr President," the Russian leader said.

Updated Date:

also read

At G20 summit, Narendra Modi to highlight India's commitment to help Afghans with aid
India

At G20 summit, Narendra Modi to highlight India's commitment to help Afghans with aid

New Delhi is one of the biggest donors and has already spent $3 billion to rebuild the war-torn country

Iran set to resume nuclear negotiations with world powers on 21 October
World

Iran set to resume nuclear negotiations with world powers on 21 October

The Vienna talks aimed at reviving the deal were suspended in June, when Iran elected ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi as president

Former US president Donald Trump to launch TRUTH Social: All you need to know about the new social media network
World

Former US president Donald Trump to launch TRUTH Social: All you need to know about the new social media network

The new platform comes after Trump was banned by Twitter and Facebook for the 6 January Capitol Hill riot