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Trump vows Putin is ‘not going into Ukraine’ — two years after Russia annexed Crimea

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In an interview with ABC News, which aired in full length Sunday morning, This Week host George Stephanopoulos grilled GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump over his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Stephanopoulos pressed Trump over previous claims he had a relationship with Putin, which he now denies.

“Well, I don’t know what it means by having a relationship,” Trump said, according a transcript of the interview. “I mean, he was saying very good things about me. But I don’t have a relationship with him. I didn’t meet him. I haven’t spent time with him. I didn’t have dinner with him. I didn’t– go hiking with him. I don’t know– I– I wouldn’t know him from Adam except I see his picture, and I would know what he looks like.”

MSNBC unearthed footage of an interview with Trump three years ago saying the opposite.

“I do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today,” he had told host Thomas Roberts.

Stephanopoulos pressed Trump on his foreign policy positions that, if elected, would serve in Putin’s interest, including softening the GOP’s platform toward Putin’s annexation of Crimea, which Ukraine still claims rights to.

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The Trump campaign removed language promising to provide Ukraine with weapons necessary to defend itself against Russian advances.

“Yeah. I was not involved in that. I’d like to– I’d have to take a look at it. But I was not involved in it,” Trump responded. “They softened it, I heard. But I was not involved.”

Stephanopoulos pointed out “they took away the part of the platform calling for provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine to defend themselves. Why is that a good idea?”

Trump then responded he “has his own ideas.”

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“He’s not going into Ukraine, okay, just so you understand,” Trump responded. “He’s not gonna go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.”

Stephanopoulos then pointed out that Putin is “already there” and noted Trump had said he’d consider recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea if he were elected president.

Trump said he’d “take a look at” the Russian take-over of Crimea but then made a pro-Kremlin talking point.

“But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were,” Trump said. “And you have to look at that, also. Now, that was under– just so you understand, that was done under Obama’s administration.”

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Watch the exchange, as posted to Twitter by ABC News, here:

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Elections 2016

Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’

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Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.

To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.

Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."

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2020 Election

Obsessed Trump: ‘Only fake polls show us behind’ Democrats. Fox News: 5 Dems would beat him

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President Donald Trump is obsessed with polls – but not facts – and increasingly so. He just fired his internal pollsters after leaked internal poll numbers show devastating lossesfor Trump in key battleground states.

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CNN

If Trump really believed he was falsely accused ‘that is not a corrupt motive’ for removing the special counsel: Bill Barr

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Attorney General William Barr told Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that if President Donald Trump really and truly thought he was being falsely accused of collaborating with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election, that it was "not a corrupt motive" for firing Robert Mueller, a stunning statement from the nation's highest law enforcement officer.

"As a matter of law, I think the department's position would be that the president can direct the termination or the replacement of a special counsel," said Barr. "And as a matter of law, the obstruction statute does not reach that conduct."

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