The latest thing President Donald Trump is blaming his predecessor for is the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
In an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier Wednesday, the president addressed the G-7 meeting and the fact that it was once the G-8 before Russia made the decision to invade their neighbors.
“They expelled Russia and a reporter asked me, ‘Do you think you would be better off with Russia’ and I said absolutely,” Trump said. “We spend probably 25 percent of our time talking about Russia. I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if they were here?'”
Trump then went on to say that he would be able to get Putin to listen to him simply by asking the Russian president to “do him a favor” and stop invading other countries.
“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 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?'” Trump said.
It is unclear why Trump has not asked the Russian leader to “get out of Syria” or “get out of Crimea.” Indeed, Trump has also not asked Putin to stop trying to infiltrate the 2018 midterm election.
“I think I would probably have a good relationship with him or would be able to talk to him better than if you call somebody on the telephone and talk,” Trump said. “If I’m sitting like I was with the others, new prime minister of Italy, he is a great guy. We had a great relationship. He agrees with me on Putin — by the way, I have to tell you. But this wasn’t anything that was up for a vote.”
Trump went on to say he promises he’s not “sticking up” for Putin, “I’m just saying he didn’t respect our leadership previously. He walked all over them. Look what he did to Obama with Crimea. He took Crimea, he took Ukraine, sections of Ukraine.”
Baier explained it was why he was kicked out of the G-8.
“But he didn’t respect our leadership. He didn’t respect it — but this wasn’t me. People say look what he did. He did it to Obama. Obama should not have allowed that to happen, even with the voter stuff,” Trump said, not clarifying who “people” are. “Supposedly the FBI went to Obama, they told him about it, he didn’t do anything about it.”
In 2016, Daniel Treisman, the director of the Russia Political Insight project, explained that Putin made the move for other reasons and warned it is a good marker for how Putin will likely behave in the future.
Watch the clip below: