On Putin, Trump says U.S. isn’t ‘so in­no­cent’

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

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.

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