Trump: I'll be Putin's 'worst enemy' if U.S.-Russia relationship 'doesn't work out' - media

11:10, 20 July 2018
World
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REUTERS

Trump made the statement during an interview at the White Housewith CNBC's Joe Kernen that will air in full Friday at 6 a.m. ET on "Squawk Box."

In the same interview, Trump blasted his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for having been a "total patsy" for Russia – while claiming he has been "far tougher on Russia than any president in many, many years."

"Maybe ever," Trump added.

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But Trump also said he valued the opportunity to improve the United States' relationship to Russia, even after American intelligence agencies have said that Russia repeatedly tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia, is positive, not a negative," Trump said.

In his interview Thursday, Trump ticked off several actions that he said rebut any argument that he is under Putin's thumb.

Trump urged people to "look at the sanctions I put on" Russia," referring to several different sets of financial sanctions imposed by his administration on Russian oligarchs, companies and government officials.

"Look at the diplomats I threw out," Trump added, referring to the U.S.'s expulsion in March of 60 Russian diplomats who had been identified as intelligence officials after the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain.

"Look at all the things that I have done," the president said.

Trump then turned his ire toward Obama's Russia policies.

"Obama didn't do it," Trump said, comparing his efforts to his predecessor's. "Obama was a patsy for Russia. A total patsy."

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