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Trump jokes with Putin about 'fake news' at G-20 summit

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE on Friday shared a laugh with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE over frustration with journalists.

Trump took a jab at the press as they were ushered out of the room ahead of a bilateral meeting with Putin at the Group of 20 summit, according to Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs, who is traveling with the president.

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“Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do,” Trump said.

Putin responded in English, "We also have. It’s the same."

The two men chuckled about the exchange, Jacobs reported.

 

Numerous critics of Putin and Russian journalists have turned up dead over the years, and the country ranks toward the bottom among all nations in terms of press freedom, according to the World Press Freedom Index.

In March, Russian lawmakers passed legislation to outlaw the publication of "fake news" if it is deemed a threat to public health and security. The law further allowed authorities to fine and possibly jail individuals who insult the state.

Trump regularly derides coverage he dislikes as "fake news," using the label to demean the press at campaign rallies, on Twitter and when taking questions from reporters.

The president has also labeled specific news outlets the "enemy of the people." Earlier this month, he accused The New York Times of treason, a crime punishable by death, after the newspaper reported the U.S. is stepping up its use of cyberattacks against Russia.