In a Fox News interview set to air at 4pm on Sunday, just ahead of the Superbowl, and which is sure to unleash a fresh firestorm of accusations that president Trump is a Kremlin puppet, the US president will defend Vladimir Putin on national TV, saying he respects the Russian leader and accusing the US of not being as innocent as it may seem.
In the interview, Bill O’Reilly asked if Trump respects Russian President Vladimir Putin, to which the he replied, “I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them.”
After O’Reilly asks why, Trump answers: "He is the 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 the Islamic terrorism all over the world, that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.”
O'Reilly pressed Trump on his statement, saying, "But he's a killer though. Putin's a killer."
Trump shrugged the comment off, saying: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country is so innocent?”
Shortly after midnight, WikiLeaks was quick to point out Trump's statement:
Trump on US government last night: O'Reilly: "Putin's a killer" Trump: "There are a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?"
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 5, 2017
As RT reminds us, it is not the first time that Trump has made such comments when journalists question his stance regarding the Russian leader. At the end of 2015, the host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe told Trump that Putin “kills journalists,” to which the unfazed then-presidential candidate replied, “I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.”
“I’ve always felt fine about Putin. He’s a strong leader. He’s a powerful leader,” Trump added.
At the end of January, Putin and Trump held their first official phone call, which, according to the Kremlin, was “good and constructive.” “Over the past years, the lack of mutual respect became the main reason for the deterioration of relations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added. Another important thing is that Washington is prepared for dialogue, the spokesman concluded.
“This is what President Putin called for rather consistently but where unfortunately he did not see reciprocity over the past years,” Peskov said.
Earlier in January, however, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized that the first meeting between Putin and Trump may “happen in months to come,” not “in a matter of weeks.” Peskov also said, “it is maybe the biggest mistake on the part of Western analysts to think that Trump is ‘our man.’ He is an American man.”
In any case, as expected, the liberal media has already canvassed the nation's mood and has found that as of this moment, America is "outraged" by Trump's comments, which unlike his predecessor, refused to slam Putin:
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) February 5, 2017