Presidential races

Trump contradicts himself on relationship with Putin

Donald Trump said Wednesday he doesn’t know Russian President Vladimir Putin, contradicting a claim he made last year that he knows the leader “very well.”

{mosads}“I never met Putin. I don’t know who Putin is,” the GOP presidential nominee said at a press conference in Doral, Fla.

“He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius,” Trump continued.

“I said thank you very much to the newspaper, and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.”

Throughout the news conference, Trump reiterated that he would rather have a working relationship with Russia to defeat terrorists.

“I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there’s nothing I can think of that I’d rather do then have Russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now so that we can knock out ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] together with other people and with other countries.”

His Wednesday comments dispute what the Republican presidential nominee said in November of last year at a debate, when Trump said he knows Putin because they were both on an episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” 

“I got to know him very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes,’ we were stablemates,” Trump said, according to Time magazine. “We did well that night.”

Trump was discussing Putin in the context of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) email scandal.

Emails released by WikiLeaks last week showed top officials at the DNC apparently planning how to undermine Bernie Sanders‘s primary campaign against Hillary Clinton.

Several news outlets reported that evidence links the hack to Russia, possibly in an effort to bolster Trump’s presidential campaign, and President Obama on Tuesday acknowledged the possibility.

 

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