G20 summit 2019: Trump meets leaders in Osaka

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3:04 a.m. ET, June 28, 2019

"Don't meddle in the (2020) election," Trump jokes with Putin

US President Donald Trump attends a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Osaka on June 28.
US President Donald Trump attends a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Osaka on June 28. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump joked with Russia's Vladimir Putin as the two men sat down at the G20 for their first bilateral meeting at the G20 in Japan.

When asked by reporters if he'd raise the issue of election US interference with Putin, Trump laughed and with a smile told the Russian President to stay out of the 2020 vote.

"Don't meddle in the election," Trump said to Putin, wagging his finger at the Russian leader.

It was a lighthearted moment — in Trump’s mind — that came at the start of the men’s first meeting since the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The US special counsel found after an investigation that Russia had tried to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, which he said should concern "every American."

Speaking on Friday, Trump said he enjoyed a “very, very good relationship” with Putin, and said “many positive things are going to come out of the relationship.”

12:22 a.m. ET, June 28, 2019

Shinzo Abe warns against "tit for tat" trade measures in G20 opening speech

US President Donald Trump sits before screens showing Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting at the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28.
US President Donald Trump sits before screens showing Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting at the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has officially opened the G20 summit with a warning on global trade tensions.

In his welcoming speech to world leaders, Abe asked that the summit “be one where differences are not highlighted, but common grounds are found.”

“The tension surrounding trade and geopolitics is rising. The responsibility of G20 is to counter such downside risks and take necessary actions," Abe said.

Abe also cautioned that although abrupt changes from globalization can bring the “temptation” for protectionism, “tit-for-tat of trade restrictive measures are to benefit no one.”

“Whatever the trade measure be they must be consistent with WTO agreement. I harbor grave concern regarding the current situation on global trade,” he added.

12:53 a.m. ET, June 28, 2019

World leaders called on to raise Japan’s controversial whaling at G20

Minke whale caught in the sea off Kushiro, Hokkaido, under Japan's "research whaling program."
Minke whale caught in the sea off Kushiro, Hokkaido, under Japan's "research whaling program." Kyodo News/Getty Images

On Sunday, one day after the G20 summit has finished, Japan will resume open commercial whaling for the first time in three decades.

As world leaders meet in Osaka, animal rights groups have called on them to raise the issue with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“World leaders meeting in Japan this week should not turn a blind eye to the cruel assault planned on whales of the North Pacific," Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International, said in a statement.

“Japan leaving the International Whaling Commission and defying international law to pursue its commercial whaling ambitions is renegade, retrograde and myopic."

Celebrities have signed an open letter urging G20 leaders to bring up whaling, among them acclaimed primatologist Jane Goodall and British actors Stephen Fry and Ricky Gervais.

The new commercial hunts will take sei whales, Bryde’s whales and minke whales.

Abe has previously said it is “regrettable that this part of Japanese culture is not understood” before a parliamentary committee in 2014.

12:20 a.m. ET, June 28, 2019

Trump to meet with Putin under a cloud

US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump is set to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in about 40 minutes at the G20 in Osaka

But the US Congress is still waiting for him to explain one of their previous talks.

The Washington Post reported in January that Trump took his interpreter's notes after a meeting with Putin at the July 2017 G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.

The House Oversight Committee has asked the White House to explain if Trump destroyed the interpreter's notes or if steps were taken to preserve them.

In June, committee chairman Elijah Cummings wrote to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to ask "why the White House has failed to answer the questions raised in a letter I sent more than three months ago seeking information about troubling reports that President Donald Trump may have violated the Presidential Records Act by confiscating and destroying documents to keep secret the details of his meetings (with Putin)."

He gave the White House until July 8 to respond.

12:15 a.m. ET, June 28, 2019

Trump praised Australia's immigration policy. Migrants subjected to it have set themselves on fire

US President Donald Trump was full of praise for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the G20, a love fest that began before he even arrived in Japan.

Amid heightened media scrutiny over the tragic fate of a father and daughter who died on the US-Mexico border, Trump on Wednesday tweeted pictures of four fliers distributed by the Australian government warning migrants against attempting to enter into the country, adding that "much can be learned!"

As Australia's immigration and border protection minister, Morrison in 2013 oversaw the "Sovereign Borders" policy aimed at preventing people smuggling and asylum seekers deaths at sea.

While that policy was successful in lowering the number of people arriving in Australia, it achieved this in part by massively expanding the number of people held in offshore detention camps on the Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Following Morrison's surprise win in May's general election, at least nine people attempted to take their own lives in a camp on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, where around 500 people are still held in detention.

The incidents on Manus were only the beginning of a wave of attempted suicides and cases of self-harm on the island. This month at least eight other men followed suit, including a Sudanese man who set himself on fire and an Iranian who attempted to hang himself but was cut down by guards, according to witnesses.

Read more here.

12:01 a.m. ET, June 28, 2019

Trump, Xi spar over Huawei in veiled comments at G20 meeting

US President Donald Trump, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's President Xi Jinping attend a meeting at the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28.
US President Donald Trump, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's President Xi Jinping attend a meeting at the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The serious business of the G20 is getting under way in Osaka, with world leaders sitting down to group meetings.

Already differences are starting to show between the US and China, however.

The Trump administration has banned the use of technology from Chinese technology giant Huawei in critical US infrastructure, to the disapproval of Beijing.

During the first session on the governance of digital products, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that countries couldn't develop "behind closed doors."

“As effective data governance should not only facilitate the collection analysis application and flow of data but also respect the right of self management for all countries," he said.

But US President Trump's opening remarks underlined the need to "ensure the resilience and security of our 5G networks."

"This is essential to our shared safety and prosperity," he said.

12:00 a.m. ET, June 28, 2019

Trump meeting with Australian Prime Minister full of smiles and laughter

President Donald Trump attends dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, third from right, in Osaka, Japan, on Thursday night.
President Donald Trump attends dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, third from right, in Osaka, Japan, on Thursday night. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

US President Donald Trump started his G20 meetings with an easy win on Thursday night.

Unlike many other nations represented in Osaka, the US has no trade disputes or diplomatic tensions with Australia -- and Trump's meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison was full of smiles and laughter.

"There’s no better or stronger or deeper relationship than the United States and Australia," Morrison told the US leader, before inviting him to Melbourne for the President's Cup golf event in December.
"I’ll tell you what, I’d like to," Trump said, laughing.

Trump congratulated Morrison on his "tremendous" election win in May.

"He didn’t surprise me, but he surprised a lot of other people. See, I knew him, so I said, 'He’s going to do very well.' And he did. He did," Trump said.

11:47 p.m. ET, June 27, 2019

Angela Merkel is a fantastic woman, Trump says

US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 2018 G7 Summit.
US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 2018 G7 Summit. GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

US President Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this morning, following earlier meetings with his Indian and Japanese counterparts.

Trump praised Merkel as a "great friend" and a "fantastic woman" at the start of their bilateral session.

"We’ve had a terrific relationship... Trade has reached a high level. It’s reached a level that it’s never reached before," Trump said.

"She’s a fantastic person and a fantastic woman and I’m glad to have her as a friend."

Merkel thanked Trump and noted that “German companies are investing a lot” in the US.

She also said she was “very much looking forward” to discussions on counter-terrorism, and told reporters “of course Iran will be on our agenda today."

11:27 p.m. ET, June 27, 2019

Trump chats with Saudi Crown Prince during G20 group photo

Trump and Mohammed bin Salman talk during the G20 group photo in Osaka, Japan, on Friday, June 28.
Trump and Mohammed bin Salman talk during the G20 group photo in Osaka, Japan, on Friday, June 28. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The 2019 family photo has just been taken in Osaka -- one of the seminal moments of any G20 summit.

During the shoot, US President Donald Trump was placed alongside Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The two leaders appeared to be chatting happily, and Trump patted bin Salman on the back before the picture was taken.

The Saudi Crown Prince is a hugely controversial figure due to allegations of his involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In June, a UN special rapporteur said after an independent investigation that there was "credible evidence" of bin Salman's involvement in the killing.

But Trump has stood by the Saudi Crown Prince throughout the controversy.