During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday afternoon, White House aide Sebastian Gorka said that it’s time to “move on” from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and suggested that the U.S. give “collaboration and cooperation” with Russia a chance.
At the top of the interview, Gorka would not say whether President Donald Trump would sign the Russia sanctions bill working its way through Congress now and instead claimed that the U.S. relationship with Russia is improving, citing the recent cease-fire in Syria.
Tapper then asked why the Trump administration is considering giving Russia back two diplomatic compounds in the U.S.
“Because we want to give collaboration and cooperation a chance,” Gorka replied. The fact is we may not share the same philosophy, we may not share the same type of statesman view of the world but the fact is there are some issues of common concern.”
“If we can see acts of good faith come out of the Kremlin with regards to things such as the cease-fire, then perhaps there is a chance for what Rex Tillerson wants to see happen, which is an improvement in relations between our two capitals,” he added.
As Gorka continued to push better relations with Russia, Tapper asked, “You don’t think it’s weak at all to let Russia go after having interfered in the 2016 election with no punishment at all?”
“The last thing you could say about Donald J. Trump after the last 25 weeks is that he’s weak,” Gorka responded.
Tapper then asked several times how the U.S. will punish Russia for election interference, prompting Gorka to note that Trump “pressed” Putin on the issue during a lengthy meeting at the G20 summit in Europe. Gorka said that Putin denied interfering in the U.S. election.
“At that point, you have to move on, because people are dying in Syria,” he said.
Watch the interview via CNN: