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ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup

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Danica Patrick, as the host of the ESPY Awards, on Wednesday joked that the last time she saw a Russian as “happy” as the captain of the Washington Capitals when his team won the Stanley Cup was “well, two days ago.”

The former NASCAR driver, the first female host of the ESPN awards show, appeared to be referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a high profile meeting with President Trump that happened on Monday.

“I haven’t seen a Russian this pleased with Washington since, well, two days ago,” Patrick joked in her opening monologue at the awards show, accompanied by a photo of Alex Ovechkin kissing the Stanley Cup.


Trump has faced backlash over his summit with Putin from both sides of the aisle, many of whom charge that he put the U.S. in a weak position with his behavior toward Putin.

Trump met with Putin privately before a joint press conference with the foreign leader and it is not clear what the two discussed. But in a joint press conference, the president gave credence to Putin’s denial that Russia was involved in attempting to hack the 2016 election.

Patrick went on to joke in her monologue that in the Olympic sport of curling it is “totally encouraged” that athletes kneel, an apparent jab at the controversy fanned by the president over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

“That’s right, we have to mention the elephant in the room. It’s time to talk about the national anthem controversy,” she said, but then moved on quickly to other sports.

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