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Thursday July 16th, 2020 1:02PM

The Latest: Trump, China's Xi to talk trade at G-20 summit

By The Associated Press
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OSAKA, Japan (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's trip to Asia (all times local):

7 a.m.

President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping are meeting Saturday in Osaka, Japan, as the trade war between two economic titans faces a critical junction.

Both the U.S. and China are signaling a desire to de-escalate the year-long conflict, yet seem unwilling to compromise.

The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the international Group of 20 summit.

Trump is also meeting Saturday with Saudi Arabia's Mohammad Bin Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

__

11:41 p.m.

Democrats are criticizing an off-handed comment President Donald Trump made about election meddling during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a summit in Japan.

After a reporter asked Trump if he was going to warn Russia not to meddle in the U.S. election, Trump turned to Putin and jokingly said: "Don't meddle in the election."

The Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, says the joke is on America and Putin is the only one laughing. Schumer says Trump is giving Russia a green light to interfere again in 2020.

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9:30 p.m.

The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has invited President Donald Trump to visit Russia next year.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday that the Russian leader wants Trump to attend festivities marking the 75th anniversary of the World War II victory.

Peskov says Trump reacted "positively" to the invitation at the two leaders' meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 nations' summit in Osaka. Peskov says a formal invitation would be sent shortly.

The Kremlin spokesman says that during their meeting, Trump and Putin discussed ways to improve economic times, arms control, China, Syria and Turkey.

___

7 p.m.

President Donald Trump is joking with Russian President Vladimir Putin about interfering in U.S. elections.

After a reporter at an international summit in Japan asked Trump if he was going to warn Russia not to meddle in the U.S. election, Trump turned to Putin and jokingly said: "Don't meddle in the election."

The off-handed comment came during the two leaders' first meeting since special counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia extensively interfered with the 2016 campaign.

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4:00 p.m.

President Donald Trump has promised Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that he will visit the South American country.

Trump said Friday that Brazil has many of the world's assets and he looks forward to the trip. He didn't say when it would be.

Bolsonaro, dubbed the "Trump of the Tropics" after he emulated Trump to win election last year, told Trump he supports his re-election. The leaders met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Trump answered several questions about his meeting Saturday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and said he thinks it will be productive. The U.S. and China are locked in a trade war.

Trump says he hasn't promised to hold off on new tariffs on Chinese goods.

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3:00 p.m.

White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump will speak about women's economic empowerment at a special event during the Group of 20 summit in Japan.

The White House says President Donald Trump's daughter plans to speak Saturday at an event being held a summit session on women's participation in the workforce. She was invited by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, host of the summit in Osaka, and will appear with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, with whom she has worked closely on the issue.

President Trump is also expected to attend.

Ivanka Trump will discuss how the Trump administrations recently launched initiative on Women's Global Development and Prosperity will marshal government and private support to empower women economically around the world.

___

2:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he'll discuss trade and disarmament issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two are meeting Friday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. It's their first meeting since a federal investigation in the United States documented extensive evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It's also their first time face-to-face since a Helsinki summit last July in which Trump refused to side with U.S. intelligence agencies over his Russian counterpart.

Putin has denied meddling in the election.

Trump jokingly said to Putin: "Don't meddle in the election," after a reporter asked if he will deliver that warning to Putin about the 2020 U.S. election.

___

11:00 a. m.

President Donald Trump says German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a "fantastic person" and he's "glad to have her as a friend."

Trump commented Friday as he and Merkel met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Japan. Merkel said last year that she won't seek a fifth term as chancellor and Trump has complained outside of her presence that Germany is taking advantage of the U.S. on support for NATO.

The president says he and Merkel "have many things to talk about" but he didn't indicate whether he'd raise the NATO issue.

Merkel said she wants to discuss Iran, counterterrorism and West Africa.

___

10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have become "great friends" and the two countries "have never been closer."

The two heads of state met Friday in Osaka, Japan, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit.

The president has complained about trade with India and says it will be among the issues they discuss. Modi said he wants to discuss Iran, 5G communications networks, bilateral relations and defense relations. The prime minister also thanked Trump for expressing his "love toward India" in a letter recently delivered by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump and Modi met separately following a three-way meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

___

9:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting jointly with the leaders of India and Japan.

The three leaders did a group fist bump as they posed for a photo Friday's meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Trump says it's a "great honor" to be at the meeting and congratulated Modi on his recent re-election.

Despite his recent complaints about India and Japan, Trump forecast a "positive" discussion with his counterparts.

Abe says India, the U.S., and Japan are the "foundation of the peace and prosperity in the region."

Modi says their countries support democracy.

___

7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is opening his participation in the Group of 20 summit by meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the summit host.

Trump recalled Friday that he'd been in Japan last month, joking that "we just left Japan and now I'm back."

He recalled presenting an award to the winner of a sumo wrestling champion during the May visit and claimed "everybody's talking about it all over the world."

Trump says he and Abe will discuss trade, military and other issues during their meeting on the sidelines of the summit, which is being held in Osaka, Japan.

__

4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is under pressure to take a firm stand against election interference Friday when he holds his first meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin since the special counsel found extensive evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

U.S. officials are on high alert for more interference next year.

Trump said in advance he expected a "very good conversation" with Putin but told reporters that "what I say to him is none of your business."

His aides have grown worried that Trump could use the meeting to once again attack Robert Mueller's probe on the world stage, particularly since the special counsel now has a date to testify before Congress next month.

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