President Donald Trump playfully told President Vladimir Putin not to meddle in the 2020 U.S. election as the U.S. and Russian leaders were speaking to reporters in Japan on Friday, June 28.
During a meeting held on the sidelines of G-20 Summit in Osaka, a reporter asked whether President Trump would warn his Russian counterpart against potential interference in the upcoming U.S. election, he replied: “Yes, of course I will.”
“Don’t meddle in the election, president,” President Trump said in a bit of a funny tone as he turned to Putin. Then he pointed his finger at the Russian leader and repeated “Don’t meddle in the election.”
Putin laughed but didn’t respond after his translator told him what President Trump said.
Rumors about the Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 U.S. election triggered a probe alleging that the Trump campaign made contact with the Kremlin. However, special counsel Robert Mueller after conducting a two-year investigation found “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The investigation has had adverse impacts on the president’s efforts to improve relations with Russia as well as steal some of his time from running the country.
Trump has repeatedly commented on the Mueller report, saying the special counsel began his probe based on shoddy intelligence and federal law enforcement illegally spying on Trump campaign members, and the president called to “investigate the investigators.”