Fox News's Shep Smith calls out Trump joking with Putin: Russian treatment of journalists 'not exactly the same'

Fox News host Shepard Smith on Friday called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE after he shared a joke with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinJoe Walsh 'strongly, strongly considering' a primary challenge to Trump GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Trump, France's Macron discuss G-7 ahead of annual meeting MORE in which they expressed their frustration with journalists.

Trump took aim at the press while journalists were ushered out of the room ahead of his bilateral meeting with Putin at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Japan, telling the Russian leader: “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”


“Yes, we have too. The same," Putin responded in English.

Smith played the clip on his show before commenting on the exchange.

“Not exactly the same,” he clarified, “because the Russian president has a history of ordering the murders of journalists, as well as his political rivals."

"And they joked about journalists there,” Smith added.

While Trump regularly deems reporting he doesn’t like "fake news” and calls the press the “enemy of the people,” numerous Russian journalists and critics of Putin have wound up dead over the years.

Russia ranks near the bottom among all nations worldwide in terms of press freedom, according to the World Press Freedom Index.

As journalists shouted questions at Trump during the sit-down with Putin on Friday, asking if the president would tell Russia not to meddle in U.S. elections, Trump offered a deadpan response.

"Yes, of course, I will. Don’t meddle in the election, please. Don't meddle in the election,” Trump said, pointing to Putin and sporting a grin.

Smith opened the segment on his show by noting that over the course of his nearly two-year investigation former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE found that Russia launched a sweeping campaign to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Fox host noted that Trump was also slated to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 summit following a United Nations report that recommended an investigation into the crown prince over the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.