“I don’t know Putin,” Donald Trump said in the second presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, Sunday evening. Sometimes, he knows the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and sometimes he doesn’t. In the second presidential debate, Trump chose not to know Putin once again.
For months, the Republican nominee said that the two had been “stablemates” in the green room at CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The two appeared in separate segments of the TV show. In last November’s Fox Business Republican debate, Trump defended Putin saying:
‘I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes. We were stablemates, and we did very well that night.’
Just last month, Trump went onto Russian TV via Larry King‘s show, “RT America” and praised Putin. In NBC’s earlier Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Commander-in-Chief Forum, Trump called our leaders “weak” and complimented the Russian president.
On The Larry King Show, and in Sunday’s debate, Trump said that we don’t know who is hacking the debates, if anyone. But, then the candidate defended the Russians:
‘I think it’s probably unlikely. Maybe the Democrats are putting that out — who knows. If they are doing something, I hope that somebody’s going to be able to find out so they can end it. Because that would not be appropriate at all.’
Putin denied Russia interfered with Democratic officials’ emails Sunday night and previously. Trump said he hadn’t heard what the Russian president said:
‘I don’t know who hacked. You tell me: Who hacked? I have absolutely no opinion on that.’
MSNBC Republican political analyst and Trump supporter until Sunday, Hugh Hewett, is not a Putin fan:
‘Putin is very evil…he is Eating the United States lunch. I don’t like to see Trump on Russian TV…He’s [Putin] an evil man.’
Putin's evil. He's also got Russia into Syria, Iran and Crimea, threatening Baltics, buzzing Navy planes w/ SU-27s https://t.co/mFA49eVx1k
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) September 9, 2016
Trump has defended Russian intervention in Syria. Then in Sunday’s debate, the moderator said his vice president, Mike Pence, thought there could be a need for the U.S. military to attack in Syria. That’s when Trump the Pence under the bus:
‘He and I haven’t spoken and we don’t agree.’
The GOP presidential candidate also said the United States should not be taking the lead defending Ukraine from Russian aggression:
‘I’m all for protecting Ukraine and working — but, we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren’t doing anything. They say, “Keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going. Protect us.’”
This viewer of Sunday’s debate said this on his twitter page:
With Pence weighing whether he wants to stay on ticket, Trump humiliates him at debate over PUTIN.
"He and I haven’t spoken & I disagree"
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) October 10, 2016
Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan, says this regarding Putin:
‘Vladimir Putin is an aggressor who does not share our interests.’
Trump knows Putin on some days, and on other days he does not. Hopefully, he will let the bromance he sometimes has with the Russian dictator die out.
Featured Image: Al Jezeera TV.