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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE on Friday shared a laugh with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Fox News's Shep Smith blasts Trump over 'xenophobic eruption' on minority lawmakers Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller 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.