Trump on Putin Controlling Syria: ‘OK, Fine,’ Him Fighting ISIS ‘Wonderful Thing,’ ‘Very Little Downside’

On Tuesday’s “O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that it’s “a wonderful thing” Russia’s Vladimir Putin is fighting ISIS and responded “Alright, okay, fine” after host Bill O’Reilly stated Putin would “never get out” of Syria.

Trump said [relevant exchange begins around 3:55] of “in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A, and our president is not doing so well.”

When asked what he thinks Putin is doing in the Middle East, Trump stated, “Well, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, wounded warriors all over, and Putin is now taking over what we started, and he’s going into Syria, and he frankly wants to fight ISIS, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. You know, I said that a year ago and everybody said oh, that’s terrible. If he wants to fight ISIS, let him fight ISIS. Why do we always have to do everything. But he wants to go in. He wants to fight ISIS. Now, he wants to keep, as you know, he wants to keep your leadership, your current leadership, Assad in Syria. Personally I’ve been looking at the different players, and I’ve been watching Assad, and I’ve been pretty good at this stuff over the years, cause deals are people. And I’m looking at Assad and saying, ‘Maybe he’s better than the kind of people that we’re supposed to be backing.’ Because we don’t even know who we’re backing.”

Trump added that there’s “very little downside with Putin fighting ISIS, and Putin wants to keep ISIS out of Russia and, therefore, he’s become very active with respect to ISIS, and I think that’s to our benefit.”

O’Reilly stated, “Once Putin gets in and fights ISIS on behalf of Assad, Putin runs Syria. He owns it. He’ll never get out, never.” Trump said, “Alright, okay, fine. I mean, you know, we can be in Syria. Do you want to run Syria? Do you want to own Syria? I want to rebuild our country.”

Trump concluded, by agreeing with O’Reilly that Putin wants to run the Middle East, adding “you have huge oil reserves. You have huge — you have tremendous wealth in the Middle East that people don’t even know about. And by the way, forget about Putin. You have Iran is going to take over Iraq. I called that many years ago, on your show. I said we should have never gone into Iraq, which I should be given a little credit for vision, because I’m the only one running that said that, but we should have never, because you totally destabilize the Middle East. But the fact is that Putin now — well, that’s what happened. you destabilized, and by the way. Iran is going to be be taking over Iraq, including their vast oil reserves, and the leftovers are taken over by ISIS. So, what have we done with our incompetent leadership?”

After O’Reilly stated, “We have given the Middle East primarily to Putin and Iran, and they will run it for the foreseeable future.” Trump responded, “I believe that’s true.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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