President Donald Trump argued that he was tough in dealing with Russia but that he still wanted to have a good relationship with the country.
“If we got along with Russia, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing,” he said. “And just about everybody agrees with that, except very stupid people.”
Trump, making his remarks during a lunch at the White House with leaders of the Baltic States, added that U.S. exports of more oil and natural gas made Russia weaker, something he wanted to continue.
“Probably nobody’s been tougher to Russia than Donald Trump,” he said.
Trump said the United States military and NATO were much stronger under his leadership, suggesting this would not have occurred if his opponent, Hillary Clinton, had become president.
When reporters asked him if Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “friend” or “foe,” Trump demurred.
“We’ll find out. I’ll let you know,” he said.