Largest newspaper in Finland hits Trump, Putin over press freedom with billboards ahead of summit

Largest newspaper in Finland hits Trump, Putin over press freedom with billboards ahead of summit
© Twitter: Kaius Niemi

The largest newspaper in Finland is mocking President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Comey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator Trump pushes back on reports that Ayers was first pick for chief of staff MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin with a series of billboards calling the leaders out over their treatment of the press.

Kaius Niemi, editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat, shared a press release on Twitter, along with photos of some of the nearly 300 billboards lining the route from the airport to the site of the summit between Trump and Putin.

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“Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press,” one of the billboards reads.

The billboards feature headlines in English and Russian from 2000-2018 detailing the respective leaders’ “turbulent” attitudes toward a free press.

Niemi said the billboards were intended to show support for journalists in the U.S. and Russia facing “ever toughening circumstances.”

“This is a statement on behalf of critical and high quality journalism,” Niemi said in the release. “As we welcome the presidents to the summit in Finland, we want to remind them of the importance of free press.”

“The media shouldn’t be the lap dog of any president or regime."

The release notes that Finland is rated fourth in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, far ahead of the U.S.’s 45th-place finish. Russia was listed by the organization as No. 148 out of 180.

One English-language billboard in the press release features a February headline: “Trump calls media enemy of the people.”

Trump touched down in Helsinki on Sunday evening ahead of his planned meeting with Putin on Monday. While en route to the summit, he tweeted that “much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people,” and complained that “no matter how well” the summit goes, he will face negative press coverage.