On Tuesday, Tucker Carlson Tonight aired the interview with President Trump that took place shortly after the Trump-Putin summit debacle in Helsinki on Monday. At this point, Trump had heard some of the reaction from his post-summit press conference, during which he sided with Vladimir Putin instead of his own intelligence community when it came to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and he wanted to make one thing clear.
“I’m not pro-Russia, pro-anybody,” Trump said. “I just want this country to be safe.” Despite his claim, Trump heaped more praise on the autocratic nation, while at the same time taking aim at one of our allies. “Well, it’s sort of incredible, because if you look at WWI and WWII, that was Germany. And in WWII, Russia lost 50 million people and helped us win the war. And I was saying to myself the other day, I said, ‘Ya know, Russia really helped us.’”
Trump’s assessment of what Russia did to help the allies win WWII was just slightly off. Though the exact count is disputed, the number of Russians killed in the conflict is roughly half of what Trump claimed, and Russia and America were fighting on different fronts. But despite Trump’s many inaccuracies, he’s right about one thing: America and Russia are by far the world’s greatest nuclear powers. And that’s why he says we should get along.
“Getting along with Russia, and not only for that reason, is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said.
It should be noted that this interview most likely took place before Trump was aware of the extent of the backlash he’d received. On Tuesday, Trump walked back some of his pro-Russia comments at the press conference. He claimed that he misspoke when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that meddled in the 2016 election. Trump says that what he meant to say was he didn’t see any reason why it “wouldn’t” be Russia.
Tucker Carlson Tonight airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox News Channel.
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