June 28, 2019

In between tweeting his highly intellectual and ultra-nuanced thoughts about the Democratic Debates,

Donald managed to find time to talk to reporters while sitting in Putin's lap sitting next to Vladimir Putin.

In an effort to freak us out even more than he did in Helsinki, Donald tried to joke with Putin about the press, using his usual "Fake News" refrain and licking Putin's @sshole admiring Putin's way with journalists, saying, "You don't have the problem in Russia. We have it. You don't have it." Putin looked around and laughed, then said that, no, actually he did have the same problem with journalists in Russia.

What he didn't say was that both he and Donald have the same definition of "Fake News" – stories in the press that expose corruption and authoritarianism, and truth about the conditions under which its country's citizens live. What he didn't say was what they DO to journalists in Russia who try to tell the truth. In the clip above, Jim Sciutto and Kaitlan Collins make it clear what Putin, the Terror of Journalists wouldn't:

SCIUTTO: That man right there, President Putin leads a government that imprisons journalists, it kills journalists, it has literally thrown journalists out of windows. Just a couple of weeks ago it imprisoned an investigative journalist on fake charges. You cover this White House. It's not the first time he's attacked the press. How different is it when he sort of claims a kinship with the Russian president who treats the press like prisoners and worse?

COLLINS: That's the thing. The president and his allies say when he says something is fake news, that's just his way of pushing back on a story he finds inaccurate or unfair to him. But when he's in the room with someone like Vladimir Putin where in Russia they literally kill journalists, they imprison them, they treat them terribly, you see how that message transcends across the world with strong-men leaders.

Putin. Kills. Journalists. Then laughs at the G-20 about how he has a problem with journalists in his country.

What Donald didn't say — at least in this room full of reporters — was that he wishes he could treat journalists the way Putin does. Or even moreso, the way Mohammed Bin Salman does.

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