Trump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia

Trump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia
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President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE on Tuesday said he doesn't want to use the word "adversary" to describe Russia.

Trump made the comment during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, after Carlson asked Trump if Russia is the "chief adversary" of the U.S.

"I don’t want to use the word 'adversary,' " Trump replied. "We can work together, everybody can do well and we can live in peace." He then pivoted to the size of China's economy. 

The interview was recorded in Helsinki after Trump's stunning joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.


Trump drew bipartisan ire for seeming to side with Putin on the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He said he had no reason to think Russia interfered in the election despite the intelligence community's unanimous conclusion that they did. 

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle slammed Trump for his performance, calling the remarks "disgraceful" and even "treasonous." 

During the interview, Carlson asked Trump why he believes there is a bipartisan consensus that Russia is the "chief adversary" of the U.S.

Trump said he thinks it is "incredible" because Russia helped the U.S. win World War II.

"Russia really helped us," Trump said. "I’m not pro-Russia, pro-anybody. I just want to have this country be safe."

He added that Russia and the United States "control 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world" so it would be good to "get along."  

Trump recorded the interview before he partially walked back his comments about Russian interference on Tuesday, when he claimed he misspoke during the press conference.

"I would like to clarify, in a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't,' " Trump said. "The sentence should have been, 'I don’t see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.'"

He insisted he believes the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the presidential election, but repeated a claim he has made previously that other parties could have been involved in the meddling.