On Putin, Trump says U.S. isn’t ‘so innocent’
President Donald Trump said he respects Vladimir Putin, and when told the Russian leader is “a killer,” Trump said the United States has many of them.
“What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly in a taped interview aired Sunday on the Super Bowl pregame show.
Trump has long expressed a wish for better ties with Moscow, praised Putin and signalled that U.S.-Russia relations could be in line for a makeover.
During Putin’s years in power, a number of prominent Russian opposition figures and journalists have been killed.
“I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing,” Trump said in the interview.
O’Reilly then said about Putin: “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”
Trump responded: “take a look at what we’ve done, too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes” and referenced the Iraq war.