Trump wants stronger relations with Russia and to work with them to defeat ISIS.
HOWARD KURTZ: Vladimir Putin bear hugged you, practically endorsed you, said you’re an outstanding man unquestionably talented and welcoming your call for tighter and deeper relations with Russia. Could Putin’s praise signal to voters that you’re not taking a tough enough approach toward Russia?
DONALD TRUMP: It could and the smart people would say that’s a great thing. What do we need problems for? Obama and Putin don’t get along. What do we need problems for Howard? I mean yeah it was very nice, he said great things, he even called me brilliant isn’t that nice?
KURTZ: You said that was an honor.
TRUMP: Of course it’s an honor. I think it’s an honor. I’m not talking about... hey I compliment people sometimes maybe sometimes you don’t mean it I think he meant it. I’ll tell you what what’s the purpose of it? Why is he doing it? I do feel that Russia instead of being this group that we don’t talk to that we’re always fighting I think they can be used for the good. We want to knock out ISIS. They want to knock out ISIS just as much as us. I mean they’re knocking out airplanes that are Russian owned airplanes.
KURTZ: Russia has troops in Ukraine. Russia is propping up Assad in Syria. Do you want a friendly relationship with Russia or an adversarial one?
TRUMP: Well let’s start off with Assad. First of all we’re fighting Assad and we’re fighting ISIS and Assad is fighting ISIS. We don’t know what the hell we’re doing. We’ve got all these fights going on we don’t know what we’re doing. You got to go one at a time. We have to get rid of ISIS. That’s the most important, we have to do that fast and we have to do that powerfully and get it done. As far as Assad you wait, just wait. Now Russia is on the side of Assad. So is Iran, so are other people. And I just think that the first thing we have to do is we have to knock the hell out of ISIS. It’s so important. We can worry about Assad…Assad’s a bad guy but you know what? The people that we’re backing might be worse. And we’ve seen that between Libya and Iraq and all these people we get rid of all these so called strong men or the dictators or whatever you want to call them. And then it ends up being ten times worse. Look if we had spent zero dollars in Iraq and all of the places over there we would have been in much better shape than we are right now. Right now the Middle East is a powder keg. Whether you like Saddam Hussein or not (and who likes him?) he was great at one thing: he killed terrorists. There were no terrorists. They were executing terrorists on a daily basis. Now it’s the Harvard of terrorism. You want to be a terrorist you go to Iraq. So we have really messed up in the Middle East. And by the way I think Russia can be a positive force and an ally as opposed to always fighting with Russia.