After President Donald Trump refused to recognize Russia as a threat to the nation and went on to side with President Vladimir Putin over the U.S. intelligence agencies during a disastrous summit in Helsinki, Finland, the commander-in-chief sat down with his old pal and cheerleader Sean Hannity for a ridiculously softball interview.
While rest of the country was debating if Trump’s allegiances belonged to the people he is tasked to serve or to the foreign powers that allegedly meddled to get him elected, the president was busy defending his Russian counterpart and the controversial meeting between the two that many dubbed as “treasonous” on social media.
Hannity kicked off the interview by mentioning things that matter more to the Republicans than the possibility of Kremlin operatives interfering in its democratic process: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails.
Trump begins interview w/Hannity by touting that Putin cleared him of collusion & said he doesn't have blackmail material.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 17, 2018
"First of all, he said there was no collusion whatsoever. They have no information on Trump... I thought that President Putin was very, very strong." #lulz pic.twitter.com/nKIGYcGFkc
“First of all, he said there was no collusion whatsoever,” Trump began, referring to Putin. “I guess he said it as strong as you can say it. They have no information on Trump. One thing you know: If they had, it would have been out.”
He continued to press on the fact that Putin has denied the allegations – which must mean none of it was true.
“He said it was nonsense. And he also said there was absolutely no collusion, which you know, and everybody that watches your show knows,” the president continued. “And I think most of the country knows. And, Tucker [Carlson], standing over there definitely knows – he’s one of the people that get it.”
The former reality TV star also complained about wasting time on things like special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign and Russia.
“It’s a shame, we’re talking about nuclear proliferation and Syria, and humanitarian aide, and we get question on the witch hunt,” Trump complained. “I don’t think the people in the country buy it, but the reporters like to give it a shot.”
He then praised Putin for being “very, very strong.”
As for the Russian leader’s outrageous proposal to let the Kremlin interrogate the 12 Russian military intelligence officers recently indicted by Mueller’s team, Trump said he was “fascinated by the idea.”
“Robert Mueller’s people could go with them, but they probably won’t,” he added.
The climate change-denying president then went onto blast former President Barack Obama for calling global warming as “our biggest problem.”
"To me, the most important issue is the nuclear issue."— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 16, 2018
President @realDonaldTrump sits down with @seanhannity for his first interview following his meeting with Russian President Putin. Tune in tonight at 9p ET on Fox News Channel. https://t.co/CXfv7TtOdd pic.twitter.com/7Czrk17irb
“To me the most important issue is the nuclear issue,” he said. “Because I know President Obama said global warming is our biggest problem, I would say that no, nuclear warming is our biggest problem, by a factor of about five million. The nuclear problem we have to make sure, we have to be very careful. If you look at Russia and the United States, that’s 90 percent of the nuclear weapons.”
It’s unclear if Trump was referring to nuclear proliferation when he talked about “nuclear warming” or something else entirely.
Moreover, the president believes the Mueller probe has driven a “wedge” between Russia and the United States.
“Maybe we’ve just knocked that down wedge. But it has driven a wedge, and President Putin said that— one of the early things that he said when we started — it’s really a shame because we could do so much good, whether it is humanitarian aid throughout the Middle East, whether it’s not just Syria, so many different things. The safety of nuclear power, which ultimately, there is nothing bigger and more important,” he told Hannity. “And they drove a phony wedge. It’s a phony witch hunt, rigged deal. With guys like Peter Strzok and [James] Comey and [Andrew] McCabe. The whole group, and you can imagine who else. It’s a real shame.”
The real estate mogul also used the opportunity to defend his Imprisoned Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort by comparing him to a… well, an American gangster.
“Paul Manafort, who clearly is a nice man,” Trump said. “You look at what’s going on with him, it’s like Al Capone. It’s just a sad thing. It’s a very sad thing for our country.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Grigory Dukor