Donald Trump admitted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “probably” involved in several assassinations and poisonings, however those crimes did not happen “not in our country.”
Lesley Stahl for CBS’s “60 Minutes” pressed President Trump over his suspiciously warm relationship with Vladimir Putin, whom he often refuses to criticize publicly.
“Do you agree that Vladimir Putin is involved in assassinations? In poisonings?” Leslie Stahl asked Donald Trump.
“Probably he is, yeah,” Trump said. “But I rely on them. It’s not in our country.” The president’s casual attitude towards murder caught the host off guard.
“They shouldn’t do it,” Leslie Stahl replied, forced to state the obvious. “This is a terrible thing.”
Donald Trump agreed “of course” the aggressive Russian government should not be ordering assassinations and poisonings.
Vladimir Putin is accused of ordering the fatal poisoning of the ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, a man whom Putin recently said is a “scumbag.” Though British officials said that Russian military officials attacked Skripal, the Kremlin has repeatedly denied involvement.
Many of the violent Russian dictator’s critics or dissidents have died under suspicious circumstances.
When Leslie Stahl segued into a question regarding the Russian rigging during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Doanld Trump said that he believes Russia interfered but “China meddled too.”
Leslie Stahl pressed Trump for evidence to support the accusation against China, something which the president was not able to do.
“You are diverting the whole Russia thing,” Leslie Stahl said.
“I’m not doing anything,” said the president childishly.
Trump was slammed by both critics and allies over his performance during the joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki this summer, during which Donald Trump suspiciously cast doubt on Russia’s hacking of the 2016 elections. The American intelligence community has concluded unanimously that Russia rigged the presidential election to help Trump.
Before the press conference, Trump and Putin met alone. In the “60 Minutes” interview, Trump lied that he was “tough” on Putin during that meeting. There’s no reason to believe that Trump is telling the truth, and that holds true no matter what the situation, but when it comes to the president’s relationship with the world leader who cheated the American people to get Trump into office, it’s especially likely that Trump is full of it.