As Donald Trump waited at the G20 summit meeting on Friday for Russian President Vladimir Putin to arrive and meet him, Trump was seen sucking on a mint — apparently a Tic Tac — in an apparent effort to freshen his breath prior to meeting the Russian leader. Trump “obviously has a man crush,” according to author Michael Wolff, who had now penned two books about Trump, quoted by GQ. But the breath mint was a source of amusement to the Kremlin, at least judging by Russian state-run television, which made a point of zooming in close on the mint in Trump’s mouth.
The evident presence of the Tic Tac mint in Trump’s mouth recalled words spoken by Trump on the infamous Access Hollywood tape, which surfaced just one month prior to the 2016 presidential election. On that tape, Trump described his own tendency to sexually assault women by kissing them without their consent. And in fact, in February of this year, Trump was sued by a former campaign staffer who said that Trump aggressively planted an unsolicited kiss on her lips during the campaign, according to USA Today.
“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her….I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump said on the tape as revealed by The Washington Post.
The below video was posted online by a reporter for the Russian government-run news agency RIA Novosti. The caption reads, “Trump is waiting for Putin….Fresh breath makes understanding easier.”
Трамп ждет Путина. Тик- так. Свежее дыхание облегчает понимание pic.twitter.com/dh45bQPcV4
— Кремлевский пул РИА (@Kremlinpool_RIA) June 28, 2019
Independent journalist Julia Davis, who monitors Russian media for how it portrays information about the United States, also noted that the state-owned Russia-1 TV network could not get enough of Trump’s attempt to avoid the possibility of bad breath in his face-to-face meeting with Putin.
#Russia's state TV finds it amusing that Trump was sucking on a mint, apparently concerned about the freshness of his breath, while waiting for Putin to arrive.#G20Summit #G20 pic.twitter.com/Y21wZEH6ld
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) June 28, 2019
Following the 2016 release of the Access Hollywood tape, with Trump’s comments about using Tic Tac mints to prepare for his attacks on women with unwanted kisses, the makers of Tic Tac mints posted their objections on the company’s Twitter account.
“Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” the company wrote. But as of Friday evening, the company had not issued any comment or response to the video of Trump apparently sucking on one of their breath mints in anticipation of the meeting with Putin.
At the meeting, Putin invited Trump to visit Russia in 2020, according to The Associated Press, which quoted a Kremlin spokesperson saying that Trump responded “positively” to the invitation.