President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 presidential elections, contrary to claims by his critics and opponents.
Trump made his comments during an interview by Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN):
In an effort to debunk claims that Russia wanted to help him win the election, the president argued that’s an illogical conclusion.
He thinks Putin would actually have been happier with Hillary Clinton in the White House because he’s building the U.S. military and working to export U.S. energy, which Russia opposes.
“We are the most powerful country in the world and we are getting more and more powerful because I’m a big military person. As an example, if Hillary had won, our military would be decimated. Our energy would be much more expensive. That’s what Putin doesn’t like about me. And that’s why I say, why would he want me? Because from day one I wanted a strong military, he doesn’t want to see that,” Trump told Robertson.
“And from day one I want fracking and everything else to get energy prices low and to create tremendous energy. We’re going to be self-supporting, we just about are now. We’re going to be exporting energy – he doesn’t want that. He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills. He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia as you know relies very much on energy,” he continued.
“So there are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he would want. So what I keep hearing about that he would have rather had Trump, I think ‘probably not,’ because when I want a strong military, you know she wouldn’t have spent the money on military,” he said. “When I want tremendous energy, we’re opening up coal, we’re opening up natural gas, we’re opening up fracking, all the things that he would hate, but nobody ever mentions that.”
Trump’s analysis is similar to that provided by Breitbart News in May (original links):
It is an article of faith on the left that Russia wanted Trump to win the election because Vladimir Putin anticipated a more pliant approach, signaled by Trump’s explicit desire to negotiate a better relationship. But the Russians may just as well have preferred Hillary Clinton, who had given Russia everything it wanted while serving as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State — from the ill-fated “reset,” to a surrender of U.S. missile defenses in Eastern Europe, to the sale of 20% of America’s uranium reserves to a Russian company closely tied to the Russian state.
In June 2016, in an email released Tuesday by Donald Trump, Jr., pop music publicist Rob Goldstone wrote an email to the younger Trump in which he attempted to arrange a meeting with a Russian lawyer who, he said, had “high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Though the lawyer apparently did not have such information, the email has encouraged Trump’s critics and opponents in their belief that Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election in an attempt to help Trump win.
The full CBN interview airs on Thursday.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.