President Donald Trump gave a rare interview to CBN founder Pat Robertson, a preview of which was released Wednesday, and it featured a conversation about the president’s relationship with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
In a preview released before the full interview airs on Robertson’s 700 Club on Thursday, Trump offered a realpolitik assessment of Putin:
“Well he wants what’s good for Russia, and I want what’s good for the United States,” Trump told Robertson. “And I think in a case like Syria where we can get together, do a ceasefire, and there are many other cases where getting along can be a very positive thing, but always Putin is going to want Russia and Trump is going to want the United States and that’s the way it is.”
Trump described his bilateral meeting with Putin at the G20 summit as “good” and “long,” remarking that “everyone was surprised by the amount of time but that was a good thing and not a bad thing.”
He also lauded the local ceasefire agreement he and Putin reached in Syria, which has remained in place now for several days. Watch a clip of Trump talking the Syria ceasefire deal above, courtesy of CBN.
In an apparent attempt to push back on the notion that Putin interfered in the U.S. election to sabotage Hillary Clinton‘s campaign, Trump argued that Putin would have actually preferred a President Clinton:
We are the most powerful country in the world and we are getting more and more powerful because I’m a big military person. As an example, if Hillary had won, our military would be decimated. Our energy would be much more expensive. That’s what Putin doesn’t like about me. And that’s why I say, why would he want me? Because from day one I wanted a strong military, he doesn’t want to see that.
Trump also noted that his support for “fracking and everything else to get energy prices low and to create tremendous energy” meant the United States would “be self-supporting” and start “exporting energy,” arguing Putin “doesn’t want that.”
“He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills,” Trump continued. “He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia as you know relies very much on energy.”
“So there are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he would want. So what I keep hearing about that he would have rather had Trump, I think ‘probably not,’ because when I want a strong military, you know she wouldn’t have spent the money on military,” Trump said. “When I want tremendous energy, we’re opening up coal, we’re opening up natural gas, we’re opening up fracking, all the things that he would hate, but nobody ever mentions that.”
[image via screengrab]
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