During a lukewarm interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, recorded just after the press conference with Vladimir Putin on Monday, President Donald Trump argued that he’s “not pro-Russia,” but the country “really helped us” win some wars.
“It’s incredible,” he told Carlson Monday. “You look at World War I and World War II, there was Germany. And in World War II, Russia lost 50 million people and helped us win the war. I was saying to myself the other day, you know, Russia really helped us. I’m not pro-Russia, pro-anybody, I just want to have this country be safe, I don’t want nuclear weapons– even people thinking about it.”
The interview aired on Fox Tuesday night.
In the interview that took place on the heels of the summit with Putin, where Trump received intense backlash for publicly defending Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump also criticized the FBI and former intelligence official John Brennan.
In reaction to Trump’s press conference — where he also blamed both the U.S. and Russia for poor relations — Brennan called Trump’s behavior treasonous and suggested that his national security team should resign over Trump’s performance.
“Well I think Brennan is a very bad guy and if you look at it, a lot of bad things happened under his watch,” he said. “I think he’s a very bad person. I also think that when you watch Peter Strozk and Lisa page, when you watch all the things that have happened, Comey, take a look at that and McCabe, who’s got some pretty big problems I assume.”
“You look at the deception, the lies and what’s gone on in the last fairly long period of time– before I won. Long before I won, I mean during the campaign I guess probably during the Republican, when I was fighting against 17 other Republicans — this has been going on for a long time,” he continued, repeating a darling, but tired talking point. “But these are people, in my opinion are truly bad people. They are being exposed for what they are and it’s a shame that it has to happen, but it’s really hurt our country.”
As Think Progress noted on Tuesday, despite calling reporters into the Cabinet Room on Tuesday to clarify a slip of tongue he claims he made during the press conference — “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t or why it wouldn’t be Russia.’” — he didn’t clarify that in interviews with Fox News recorded just after the Putin presser.