Asked about Putin, Trump says U.S. isn’t ‘so innocent’

Asked about Putin, Trump says U.S. isn’t ‘so innocent’
Image: YouTube screen grab

President Donald Trump said he respects Vladimir Putin, and when an interviewer called the Russian leader “a killer,” Trump said the United States has many of them.

“What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly in an excerpt released by the network. The president’s interview was to air Sunday afternoon on the Super Bowl pregame show.

Trump has long expressed a wish for better ties with Moscow, praised Putin and signaled that U.S.-Russia relations could be in line for a makeover, even after U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to help Trump win against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Putin has called Trump a “very bright and talented man.”

During Putin’s years in power, a number of prominent Russian opposition figures and journalists have been killed.

In the interview, Trump says, “I do respect him,” and then is asked why. “I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.”…

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