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Watch CNBC’s Doe-Eyed Joe Kernen Help Trump Spin His Disastrous Putin Presser

The last stop on President Donald Trump‘s cable news tour, in the wake of his catastrophic summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was a sit-down at the White House with CNBC’s Joe Kernen.

Trump faced a torrent of criticism from both sides of the aisle for his press conference with the Russian autocrat this week, in which he dismissed blame of the Kremlin for its attack on the US election, called into question his own government’s intelligence, entertained a proposal from Putin to interrogate a former US ambassador, and then a day later backtracked (ish) with the absurd claim that he misstated one word.

“I think it was a very good press conference,” Trump told Kernen in an interview that aired on CNBC Friday morning. “I mean, except for the fake news, I really think I did really well at the press conference.”

Kernen then tried to explain Trump’s bizarrely cosy relationship with Putin.

“You have a personal relationship with people that I’ve seen for many, many years. And I understand how that works,” Kernen said.

“Even with you, which is almost impossible,” Trump interjected.

Kernen laughed nervously. “Thank you,” he said. “As far as the end game with Russia, there’s lots of things that you think we can do in terms of making the world safer with Russia.”

“But the relationship you have with Putin, the tone, which was relativity conciliatory for what some people say is an enemy or an adversary,” Kernen continued, before asking: “Can that tone totally be explained by you wanting to do the best things for the country? Or is there something underlying that?”

“No, I have nothing to do with Russia, I never did,” Trump replied. “That other deal is a big hoax. It’s a hoax. It’s called the Democrat hoax. It’s a big fat hoax. I have nothing to do with Russia. And I think you know that. You would know. You’ve known me for a very long time.”

Kernen was satisfied: “I know how you are with people and I could see that knowing what you want to accomplish, in foreign policy and domestically, I could see, I could see that tone not necessarily having anything to do with, other than wanting the best thing for the country.”

Trump argued that he “wasn’t always conciliatory” in his private meeting with Putin, and that “fools” in the media wanted him to “start shouting” at the Russian president during their presser.

Watch above, via CNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin