Presidential races

Trump grants interview to Russian-funded news site

Donald Trump on Thursday conducted a roughly 10-minute interview with a Russian news network as he dismisses accusations that he’s too friendly toward Vladimir Putin.

Trump did a phone interview with RT America’s “Politicking,” a show hosted by veteran television host Larry King.

The Republican presidental nominee was noncommittal when asked about Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election

{mosads}“I think that that is pretty unlikely,” he told King. “I think it’s probably unlikely.”

“I don’t know,” Trump said. “I’ve been hearing about it, I’ve been reading about it.

“I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out. You know, who knows? I hope that if they are doing something, I hope that somebody’s going to be able to find out so that they can end it, because that would not be appropriate at all.”

Trump also refused comment on whether Putin is correct calling the recent hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) a “public service.”

“I haven’t heard that statement,” he said. “I have absolutely no opinion on that. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know who hacked. I’m not sure who. You tell me who hacked. Who did the hacking?”

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign quickly attacked Trump’s appearance on RT America Thursday evening.

Trump on late Wednesday said Putin has been a leader “far more often than our president has been a leader.”

“If [Putin] says great things about me, I’m gonna say great things about him,” he said during a forum for active service members and military veterans. “I’ve already said he is really very much of a leader.”

Trump’s comparison between Putin and President Obama drew criticism from certain Republicans who view the Russian president as an adversary.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), for example, on Thursday called Putin “an aggressor who does not share our interests.”

Putin last week denied that the Kremlin was involved in the DNC hack.

“Listen, does it even matter who hacked the data?” he told Bloomberg in a Sept. 2 interview. “The important thing was that the content was given to the public.

“But I want to tell you again, I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this.”

U.S. security experts have said Russia could be behind the cyberattacks on the DNC and other Democratic organizations, including Clinton’s campaign. 

Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has frequently criticized Trump for striking too warm a tone with Putin on the campaign trail.

Tags Donald Trump Foreign policy Hillary Clinton media Paul Ryan Politics Republicans RT RT America Russia

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