A leading Russian newspaper is reporting that journalists will likely not get access to a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit.
While the two leaders have not yet met in person since Trump was officially inaugurated as President of the United States, Trump will finally meet Russian President Vladimir Putin face-to-face at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany next month. Russian paper Izvestia reports that if the two leaders were to meet, both American and Russian media would likely be excluded from the meeting, and no statements to the media would be given following the private conversation.
“There will just be the meeting,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Izvestia.
At the very least, excluding the media from a conversation between two of the world’s most powerful people would not be a good look, though the optics will be even worse if reporters aren’t granted access to a meeting between Putin and Trump, the former who has been widely accused by U.S. intelligence officials as playing a direct role in manipulating the 2016 American presidential election to benefit the latter.
Russian manipulation of the media to destabilize Western countries isn’t just a topic of discussion in the United States. As CNN reported on Tuesday, the FBI has accused Russian hackers of planting fake news in the official state-run news agency of Qatar, causing President Trump to abruptly accuse the longtime U.S. ally of being the chief funder of Islamic extremism in a series of tweets.
During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
Trump and Putin excluding the media, while appearing undemocratic, would not appear as surprising, given the two leaders’ harshness toward the Fourth Estate. Trump has repeatedly described political reporters as “the enemy of the American people,” and Putin has been widely accused of killing journalists who are critical of his administration.
According to Reuters, Trump and Putin have already been in talks of planning a face-to-face meeting at the G20 summit for roughly a month.
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.