FACT CHECK: Were American Journalists Barred From Trump and Putin’s G20 Meeting?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that American journalists were not allowed to attend a June 28 meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit. The meme alleges that Russian journalists, by contrast, were allowed in the room.

“Well sure. Putin knows his media will only say what he tells them to say, and Trump knows our media will tell THE TRUTH,” reads the meme. “He can’t let that happen!”

Verdict: False

A standard contingent of American journalists was present before the bilateral meeting between Trump and Putin, according to a member of the press pool who attended.

Fact Check:

Trump and Putin met during the 14th G20 summit, a forum for the leaders of 19 countries and the European Union that collectively make up nearly 75 percent of global trade. The 2019 summit, held in Osaka, Japan, focused on themes including innovation and women’s empowerment. The two leaders last held a formal meeting in July 2018 at a summit in Helsinki, Finland.

The meeting in Osaka received attention after Trump jokingly urged Putin not to meddle in the 2020 election in response to a journalist who asked if Trump would press him on that issue. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Trump Jr. With Alleged Russian Spy Maria Butina?)

According to news reporting and video from the event, Trump and Putin held an introductory portion of the meeting with journalists present, hence the questions from reporters, and a second portion with senior aides behind closed doors.

“US and Russian reporters were both present for the brief pool spray before the Trump-Putin bilat,” New York Times White House correspondent Michael Crowley, who attended the event, told The Daily Caller in an email.

The Caller found no evidence that Russian journalists were allowed in the room to the exclusion of American journalists, contrary to the claims of the Facebook post.

At the summit, Trump also met individually with leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump traveled to the Korean Peninsula afterwards to meet with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit North Korea.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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