Trump dismisses concerns about Russia: ‘Putin’s fine’
President Trump on Thursday waved off concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions as he prepares to meet with his Russian counterpart in Finland later this month.
Speaking at a campaign-style rally in Montana, Trump attacked critics who have questioned his preparedness for the July 16 summit with Putin and made light of Putin’s past as a top-ranking intelligence official.
“They’re going ‘Will President Trump be prepared, you know, President Putin is KGB and this and that,’” Trump said. “You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I’ve been preparing for this stuff my whole life.”
In fact, Putin served for years in the KGB, the now-defunct Soviet intelligence agency, before becoming the director of its successor, the FSB.
Trump has long insisted that he wants to improve U.S. relations with Russia – a task that has been complicated by the U.S. intelligence community’s determination that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
That interference by Moscow – and whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Russians – is the subject of a special counsel investigation, which Trump has dismissed as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”
The American president on Thursday rebuffed critics, who have expressed concern over his ambitions to form bonds with authoritarian leaders, like Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. He said that “getting along” with such countries “is a good thing.”
“Getting along…with Russia and getting along with China and getting along with other countries is a good thing,” he said. “It’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing.”