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Wallace Confronts Pompeo on Trump’s Russia Contradiction: Is Putin Propping Up a Dictator or Looking for Something Positive?

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday over President Donald Trump’s defense of Russia’s involvement in Venezuela.

Wallace first questioned Pompeo on Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s unsuccessful attempt to oust embattled President Nicolas Maduro, with the support of the United States.

When Pompeo was pressed by the Fox News anchor on whether Maduro will lose power, the secretary of state said: “We know it’s going to happen.”

Wallace then pivoted to Trump’s comments on Venezuela after his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump told reporters this week that the Russian president is “not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela.”

“For weeks, you and Bolton have talked about — and called out Russian interference in Venezuela,” Wallace said. “So which is it? Is Putin propping up a dictator in our own backyard or is Putin looking for something positive in Venezuela?”

“President’s been very clear on this,” Pompeo replied, echoing comments he made on ABC. “He said — I think it was in a tweet several weeks back. The Russians have to get out. That remains our view.”

Wallace followed up: “But the president told the American people that Putin said that he didn’t want to get involved there, he was looking for something positive. In fact, Russia is very involved. The Wagner Group, private Russian military force, in Venezuela. Putin has sent top military and intelligence officials to Venezuela.”

“You’re going to be meeting with Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov in Finland tomorrow,” Wallace continued. “What are you going to tell him?”

“I’m going to tell him the same thing the president told the world, that every country must get out, including the Russians,” Pompeo said. “That’s what I’ll tell them. We don’t want anyone messing around with Venezuela because we want them to be an autonomous, independent, sovereign state; democratic- elected officials.”

Watch above, via Fox News.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin