WASHINGTON, DC -- President Trump is reiterating his desire to improve relations with Russia and dismissing concerns that Vladimir Putin is a “killer,” in a Fox News interview set to air Sunday before the Super Bowl.
Fox News released excerpts of the interview Saturday in which host Bill O’Reilly asks the president why he’s so respectful of Putin.
"Putin’s is a killer," O'Reilly said in the interview.
"There are a lot of killers," Trump responded. "Got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country's so innocent?"
The president’s relationship with Russia and Putin have been under close scrutiny for months. Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign dogged Trump throughout his election and transition, as intelligence agencies delivered increasingly urgent assessments of Russian efforts to hack emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and advisers of Trump rival Hillary Clinton.
The excerpts drew condemnation from some conservatives, including the Wall Street Journal’s deputy editorial page editor, who tweeted that “Trump puts US on moral par with Putin's Russia. Never in history has a President slandered his country like this.”
he president also said he doesn't know if he'll get along with Putin, but believes Russian assistance in fighting radical Islamic terrorism would be valuable.
The full interview airs at 4 p.m. ET.