Trump Brushes Off Concerns On Coziness With Putin: US Isn’t ‘So Innocent’ Either

President Donald Trump said in an interview set to air Sunday that he wants to “get along with Russia” and dismissed concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime by saying that the United States is not “so innocent.”

“Do you respect Putin?” Fox’s Bill O’Reilly asked Trump in a preview of the interview, scheduled to air on Sunday afternoon.

“I do respect him,” Trump replied.

“Do you? Why?” O’Reilly pressed.

“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, major fight, that’s a good thing,” Trump said. “Will I get along with him? I have no idea. It’s very possible I won’t.”

“He’s a killer, though,” O’Reilly interrupted. “Putin’s a killer.”

“A lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers,” Trump said. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

In another segment of the interview, O’Reilly asked Trump about his unsubstantiated claims that massive election fraud cost him the popular vote.

“If you say things you can’t back up factually, and as the President, if you say for example that there are three million illegal aliens who voted and then you don’t have the data to back it up, some people are going to say that’s irresponsible for a president to say that,” he said.

“Well, many people have come out and said I’m right,” Trump replied. “You know that.”

“I know, but you’ve got to have data to back that up,” O’Reilly said.

“Let me just tell you, let me just tell you, when you see illegals, people that are not citizens, and they’re on the registration rolls, look, Bill, we can be babies, but you take a look at the registration,” Trump said. “You have illegals, you have dead people, you have this. It’s really a bad situation. It’s really bad.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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