Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said Republican presidential nominee “Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility,” with Russia because it is “putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense and creating hostilities.”
Partial transcript as follows:
ACOSTA: And let me ask you about some comments that Donald Trump made last week in inviting the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails, a comment that he later said he was being sarcastic about. He did later say that he did not have any business dealings with the Russians. Let me put this up on screen. It says in this tweet, “For the record I have zero investments in Russia.” He was saying that in reaction to Democrats who are suggesting that perhaps he’s taking a soft approach on Russia because he has business dealings there. But according to the “Washington Post” center there is strong evidence that Trump received significant funding through his businesses from those Russian investors. What can you tell us about these investments? What are you aware of? Is he coming clean on this?
SESSIONS: What I want to tell you is that Hillary Clinton left her email system totally vulnerable to a Russian penetration. It’s probably clear that they have what was on that system. I have people come up to me all the time and say, why don’t you — if you want to find out where those 30,000 emails are, why don’t you ask the Russians? They’re the ones that have them. So she has made a huge error in there. Secondly, this whole problem with Russia is really disastrous for America, for Russia and for the world. Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility that’s putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense, and creating hostilities —
ACOSTA: But is he right about saying that he has no investments in Russia? Is he right when he says he has no —
SESSIONS: I don’t think anything about — look, that’s not the big issue for America today, whether — that’s not the big issue. The big issue is, can we, should we be able to create a new and positive relationship with Russia? I think it’s — is — that makes no sense that we are at the hostility level we are.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you, senator —
SESSIONS: Hillary Clinton tried this reset and it failed.
SESSIONS: And we need to see what we can do in the future.
ACOSTA: Do you in your view is Vladimir Putin a good leader or a bad leader? Is he a good man or a bad man, in your view?
SESSIONS: What we need — we have a lot of bad leaders around the world that operate in ways we would never tolerate in the United States. But the question is can we have a more peaceful, effective relationship with Russia. Utilizing interests that are similar in a realistic way to make this world a safer place and get off this dangerous hostility with Russia. I think it’s possible —
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