On Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson Tonight finally aired the interview with President Trump that took place shortly after the Trump-Putin Summit debacle in Helsinki, Finland on Monday. At this point, Trump had seen some of the backlash from his post-summit press conference, during which he sided with Vladimir Putin instead of his own intelligence community when it came to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and wanted to make one thing clear.
“I’m not pro-Russia, pro-anybody,” Trump said. “I just want this country to be safe.” Despite claiming not be pro-Russia, Trump heaped more praise on the autocratic nation, while at the same time taking aim at one of our allies. “Well, it’s sort of incredible, because if you look at WWI and WWII, that was Germany. And in WWII, Russia lost 50 million people and helped us win the war. And I was saying to myself the other day, I said, ‘Ya know, Russia really helped us.’”
Trump’s praise of what Russia did during WWII to help us win the war was just slightly off. Though the exact numbers are disputed, the number of Russians killed during WWII is roughly half of what Trump claimed, and Russia and America were fighting on different fronts. But despite all of Trump’s many inaccuracies, he’s right about one thing: America and Russia are by far the world’s greatest nuclear powers. And it’s because of this that he says we should get along.
“Getting along with Russia, and not only for that reason, is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said.
It should be noted that this interview likely took place before Trump was aware of the extent of the backlash he’d received. On Tuesday, Trump walked back some of the pro-Russia comments he’d made during the press conference. Trump claimed that when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who meddled in the 2016 election, that he misspoke. Trump says that what he meant to say was he didn’t see any reason why it “wouldn’t” be Russia who meddled in our election.