President Trump celebrated Veterans Day by ripping into critics of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking, “When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
The tweet comes hours after Trump told reporters Saturday that he believes Putin when he denies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.
When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One after he reportedly had several brief conversations with Putin in Vietnam during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
“I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria,” Trump said. “You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) condemned Trump’s remarks, saying nothing about it was “American first.”
“There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community,” McCain said in a statement.
“There’s no ‘principled realism’ in cooperating with Russia to prop up the murderous Assad regime, which remains the greatest obstacle to a political solution that would bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria,” said McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
“Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk,” McCain said.