Trump says Putin isn’t his enemy — and that ‘hopefully some day maybe he’ll be a friend’
President Donald Trump said in a news conference Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not “an enemy” but a “competitor,” and that he hoped the two of them could become friends.
Trump made the remarks upon leaving a tense NATO summit in Brussels where he accused Germany of being “controlled” by Russia.
Trump and Putin are set to hold a bilateral summit in Finland on July 16.
In a freewheeling impromptu news conference from the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, President Donald Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin was his competitor rather than his enemy, and that he hoped the two world leaders could one day be friends.
Trump and Putin are set to hold a highly anticipated bilateral summit in Finland on July 16.
“He’s been very nice to me the times I’ve met him, I’ve been nice to him. He’s a competitor. Somebody was saying, ‘Is he an enemy?’ No, he’s not my enemy. Is he a friend? No, I don’t know him well enough. But the couple of times that I’ve gotten to meet him, we got along well… I hope we get along well,” Trump said.
“It’s not a question of friend or enemy. He’s not my enemy. And hopefully some day maybe he’ll be a friend. It could happen. But I just don’t know him very well. I met him a couple of times,” he added.
Trump and Putin have met twice before in 2017, first at G20 summit in July, and then later at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam.
As the 2018 midterms approach, Russian election interference will be an important topic of conversation at their meeting, Trump said. Previously, he has avoided laying the blame for election meddling at Putin’s feet, either denying it or …read more
Source:: Business Insider