President Donald Trump painted a bleak picture of U.S.-Russia relations Wednesday, saying that the relationship between the two nations may be at an “all-time low.”
“It would be wonderful, as we were discussing just a little while ago, if NATO and our country could get along with Russia,” Trump said. Right now we’re not getting along with Russia at all. We may be at an all-time low in terms of relationship with Russia. This has built for a long period of time, but we’ll see what happens.”
Trump made the comment during a joint press conference at the White House with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Despite the dreary outlook, Trump said that he heard that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had a positive meeting with Russian officials.
“I’ll be speaking with Rex Tillerson in a little while, calling in. I think he had a very successful meeting in Russia,” Trump said. “We’ll see. We’ll see the end result, which will be in a long period of time perhaps, but the end result is what’s most important, not just talk, and I think that based on everything I’m hearing, things went pretty well. Maybe better than anticipated.”
But, Tillerson echoed Trump’s negative comments during his press conference earlier that day with Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov.
“I expressed the view that the current state of US-Russian relations is at a low point,” Tillerson said. “The world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship.”