Trump, Stephanopoulos Battle Over Charges Putin Killed Reporters

Sunday on  ABC’s “This Week,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump got into a heated exchange with host George Stephanopoulos over Vladimir Putin’s praise of Trump.

When Stephanopoulos, asked about Vladimir Putin, Trump said, “I have been an extremely [good] dealmaker. I think I’ll get along for the good of our country. This is what I want, make America great again. I believe I’ll get along fine with Putin and other leaders. Obama doesn’t get along with Putin. Putin can’t stand our president and it’s causing us difficulty and frankly, and I said it a long time ago, if Russia wants to bomb the hell out of ISIS and join us in that effort, I’m fine with that. If Putin respects me and if Putin wants to call me brilliant and other things that he said that were frankly very nice, I’ll accept it and I’ll accept it on the behalf of our country.”

When asked about Putin killing journalists, Trump said, “I think Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state made some horrible, horrible decisions and thousands and thousands and even hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. You look at what what went on in Libya. She’s incompetent … As far as the reporters are concerned, obviously, I don’t want that to happen. I think it’s horrible, but in all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people, I haven’t seen that. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of reporters that he’s killed? You have been hearing this. I haven’t seen the name. I think it was despicable if that took place.”

Stephanopoulos said, “Here’s what Mitt Romney tweeted, ‘there’s an important distinction, thug Putin kills journalists and opponents our presidents kill terrorists and enemy combatants.”

Trump said, “Does he know for a fact? It’s possible that he does. I don’t think it’s been proven. I’m not trying to be –”

Stephanopoulos interjected, “Allegations he was behind,” then Trump continued, “Sure, there are allegations. I have read those allegations over the years. But nobody’s proven that he’s killed anybody … If he has killed reporters, that’s terrible. He’s always denied it. He’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody. You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty at least in our country. He’s not proven that he’s killed reporters.”

Stephanopoulos said, “But, then, you said, I think our country does plenty of killing, too, what are you talking about that?”

Trump said, “Take a look at what we’re doing in the Middle East. We went into Iraq we shouldn’t have. I was opposed of going into Iraq in 2004. Headlines in Reuters, Trump is opposed to the war. You’ll destabilize the Middle East and Iran will take over. Very simple, Iran will take over Iraq. That’s exactly what’s happened. On top of that, we have ISIS. now. We should have never gone into Iraq. When we left, we made a mistake. We made a big mistake with Libya. We destabilize all of these places. We now have a migration with millions of people that don’t know where they’re going. It’s a terrible thing. We have been running by incompetent people, incompetent politicians. That’s probably why I’m leading so high in the polls. People are tired of seeing very, very stupid and incompetent people of running our country into the ground. In the meantime, we owe 19 trillions of dollars. And we better get our act together fast because our country is going down if we don’t.”

Stephanopoulos said, “Your comments seem to suggest a moral equivalent of United States to Russia is that what you believe?.”

Trump answered, “I’m not saying anything. I’m saying when you say a man killed reporters I’d like you to prove it.I have never seen any information or any proof that he killed reporters, George, you’re just saying, he killed reporters. You and other people killed reporters. I don’t know that. I haven’t seen it. If he did it’s despicable. It’s horrible. You’re making these accusations, I don’t see any proof. By the way, he totally denied that he killed reports are. He totally denied it.”

Stephanopoulos said, “I’m still waiting for evidence of killing people as well.”

Trump said, “Take a look at — excuse me, take a look at the rampage all over the place. We spent $2 trillion, OK, thousands of hundreds of people killed. We lost thousands and thousands of our great young people. 2 trillion deaths, wounded warriors. We have nothing and Iran is now taking over Iraq with the second largest oil reserves in the world. We were so incompetent. We didn’t get the oil. ISIS got a lot of the oil. Now, Iran is taking the rest of it. they’re getting the lion share, because we don’t know what we’re doing. We’re run by people who don’t have a clue.”

Stephanopoulos interjected, “Iran has been backed by Vladimir Putin.”

Trump said, “Excuse me Iran has been backed by us. You know why Iran has been backed by us? Because we made one of the dumbest deals in the history of deal making when we gave them a $150 billion. We have 24-day inspections that don’t start for a long time. They can self-inspect. We don’t get our prisoners run. We let Iran become, it’s a terror nation and we let Iran become very powerful. They don’t need to create nuclear they’re now so rich they go out and buy it directly. We’re the ones that really empowered Iran not Russia. But, through sheer stupidity of a deal, we’re are the ones that truly empowered Iran. it’s a disgrace.”

Stephanopoulos said, “We empowered Iran more than Russia does?”

Trump added, “George, we just made one of the worst deals I have ever seen in deal making. We don’t even get our prisoners back and now after the deal is made. They want to start talking as a new deal to get our prisoners back and they want a lot for the prisoners, for the four prisoners.”

Stephanopoulos said, “Russia is part of that deal as well.”

Trump said, “Hey, you know why, because Russia is making a lot of money with the deals, because they’re selling missiles and other military armaments. Because they’re smart. You know what we’re getting from that deal? Nothing.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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