President Donald Trump insisted he could get through to Russian President Vladimir Putin if given the opportunity to do so.
In a Fox News interview on Air Force One broadcast Wednesday night, Trump was asked about his recent call for Russia to be readmitted into the G-7.
“A reporter asked me, ‘do you think you would be better off with Russia?’ And I said absolutely,” Trump told Fox’s Bret Baier. “We spend probably 25 percent of our time [at G-7 summits] talking about Russia. I said to myself, wouldn’t it be better if they were here?
“I’m not for Russia, I’m for the United States. But as an example, if Vladimir Putin were sitting next to me today instead of one of the others and we were having dinner the other night in Canada, I could say, ‘would you do me a favor, would you get out of Syria? Would you do me a favor, would you get out of Ukraine?’ He shouldn’t be [there]. Just come on.”
In 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, the country was ousted from what was then the G-8. There have been no indications that the elite group of nations will allow Russia to return.
After Trump’s suggestion that Russia be allowed back in, the Russian government essentially said it was not interested.
It’s been reported that Trump and Putin could soon meet face to face. Trump told Baier he could get through to his Russian counterpart.
“I think I would probably have a good relationship with him, or I would be able to talk to him better than if you call somebody on the telephone and talk,” Trump said.
“I will tell you as an example, if [Putin] were at that [G-7] meeting, I could ask him to do things that are good for the world, that are good for our country, that are good for him.”
Trump spoke with Baier as the presidential entourage flew back from Singapore, where Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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