Trump: When will 'haters and fools' realize relationship with Russia is good
© Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday hit back at critics of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the comments he made afterward, asking when "the haters and fools" will realize a strong relationship with Russia is good. 

"When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing," Trump tweeted, after telling reporters Saturday that he believes Putin when he denies any Moscow-backed interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump reportedly had several brief conversations with Putin in Vietnam during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting regarding the Syrian civil war and the mounting nuclear threat from North Korea.  


“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One regarding Russia's interference in the election, according to White House pool reports. 

“I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria,” Trump said. “You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.”

The comments sparked backlash Saturday, including from politicians. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain, Kristol battle over Tanden nomination Biden's favorability rating rises while Trump's slips: Gallup The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread MORE (R-Ariz.) hit Trump for the comment, saying nothing about it was "America First."