In his first on-camera interview about meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump called last week’s face-to-face “excellent.” The president tells Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson. “We’re a tremendously powerful nuclear power, and so are they. It doesn’t make sense not to have some kind of a relationship.”
Trump suggested that Putin would have been happier if Hillary Clinton had won the election. The interview will air in full Thursday morning.
In a separate interview with Reuters on Wednesday Trump said he did not know until “a couple of days ago,” of his son’s meeting with a Russian attorney in which Donald Trump Jr. was told he’d hear incriminating information about Hillary Clinton as part of what was explicitly described as a Russian government effort to support the Trump campaign.
“I think many people would have held that meeting,” said the president to Reuters.
The Reuters interview further included additional details about the Trump Sr.’s meeting with Putin during last week’s G-20 summit. While administration advisers have commented that Trump Sr. discussed Russian interference in last year’s presidential election with Putin, officials from the two countries offered diverging claims about whether or not the president accepted the Russian leader’s denial of involvement.
“I said, ‘Did you do it’? And he said, ‘No, I did not. Absolutely not,'” Trump told Reuters Wednesday. “I then asked him a second time in a totally different way. He said, ‘Absolutely not.'”
Reuters further reported that the discussion about the election comprised “the first 20 or 25 minutes of his more than two-hour meeting.”