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 Trump after he shared a joke with Russian President Vladimir Putin 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.”{mosads}

“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 Mueller 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. 

Tags Donald Trump Fake News Fox News journalists Robert Mueller Shepard Smith Vladimir Putin

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