Security removes an apparent protester before a joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva via AP)

Writer removed from summit event says he only had a question

July 17, 2018 - 3:26 pm

HELSINKI (AP) — The writer and political activist who was forcibly removed from a room where U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were about to give a joint news conference says he wasn't trying to protest.

Sam Husseini, a contributor to The Nation magazine, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he held up a piece of paper with "Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty" printed on it to get attention so he could ask a question "on Syria's nuclear policy."

Finnish police said Husseini was removed and detained for interrupting the packed event at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, which was being covered live. He was released later Monday.

CNN White House reporter Kate Bennett tweeted that Husseini had spent hours at the palace's press area "passing out literature to us and generally hanging around."