Trump Continues His Pro-Russia Parade
ABC News(NEW YORK) — In what may be seen as his latest overture to Russia, Donald Trump sat down for an interview that was aired on a state-sponsored television station.
Trump was interviewed by Larry King for RT, Russia Today, but his campaign manager said this morning that the Republican presidential nominee “didn’t know it would be on Russian TV.”
Speaking to CBS, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that Trump “was doing it as a favor to his friend Larry King.”
“He said he was doing it for his podcast, didn’t know it would be on Russian-owned TV,” Conway said on CBS today.
In the RT interview, Trump downplayed reports that Russia may be trying to influence the general election, pointing a finger instead at Democrats for continuing that narrative.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve been hearing about it. I’ve been reading about it. I think it’s probably unlikely.”
A Week Full of Putin Praise
The interview comes a day after Trump repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin at a military-themed forum.
“I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin and I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia,” Trump said Wednesday.
Trump also brought up Putin’s praising the GOP candidate earlier in the campaign, when he reportedly called Trump a “bright and talented person.”
“When he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment,” he said at MSNBC/NBC’s Commander-in-Chief forum.
“If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I already said he is really very much of a leader … The man has very strong control over a country,” Trump said.
“He’s been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader,” he said.
Far From Russia’s First Appearance
Russia has been a regular topic of conversation throughout the presidential campaign.
In July, Trump said he “would be looking at” the possibility of lifting sanctions against Russia tied to its illegal annexation of Crimea — which the U.S. government refuses to recognize.
Beyond that, Trump has repeatedly said that it would “be great” for the U.S. and Russia to have strong relations, which he believes he would be capable of achieving if elected.
“Putin said some very good things about me,” Trump said at a rally in Ohio on Aug. 1. “People say, ‘Oh, Trump’s going to be weak with Putin because Putin is saying nice things about me.’ OK, all right. And I said he’s a strong guy. They immediately say, ‘Oh, Trump likes Putin.’ Look, I don’t like or dislike. I just say this way, wouldn’t it be great if the United States and Russia got along, combined, knocked out ISIS, maybe did other positive things?”
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