In an unprecedented move, president Donald Trump blasted the United States as “not so innocent” while defending the authoritarian regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview released Saturday.
“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”, Trump told Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly.
Trump was asked by O’Reilly if he “respects” Putin.
“I do respect him. I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him,” Trump replied. “He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not.”
Trump added that if Russia helps fight against ISIS and “Islamic terrorists all over the world” then it’s “a good thing.”
O’Reilly, however, followed up by saying that Putin “is a killer.”
“There are a lot of killers,” Trump responded, “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”
Throughout the campaign and into his presidency, has repeatedly praised Putin’s authoritarian approach to governing.
Watch the exchange below via French TV: