Donald Trump—an autocratic embodied Twitter egg who also happens to run the country—implicitly defended Vladimir Putin in a Sunday Fox News interview even though the latter is, in Bill O’Reilly’s words, “a killer.”
You can watch this segment of the interview in the clip below:
O’Reilly, in the peculiar position of seeming reasonable, inquired as to why Trump respects the Russian dictator. Trump supplied a non-answer, instead casting doubt as to whether or not he and Putin would become bosom buddies.
“Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him,” Trump responded. “He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not.”
O’Reilly returned, “He’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”
Trump seemed to consider this remark for a brief moment before replying, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”
To recap, the Obama administration determined that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election, specifically targeting the Democratic Party. Moreover, intelligence officials surmise that Putin himself was involved. In January, Trump finally conceded that Russia must have been involved—he had previously resisted this idea—but doubled down on the validity of his win. Russia’s interference, Trump claimed, made no difference in the final vote tally.
Russia, meanwhile, continues to deny these accusations.
As for Putin himself? He helms a government that recently decriminalized domestic violence; indeed, he signed the law himself. And it’s all but proven that Putin orders the killing of journalists and political opponents. Russia also aided Bashar al-Assad in slaughtering thousands of Syrians in the rebel stronghold of Aleppo.
So, yeah. Respect.