Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley discounted President Donald Trump's frequent excuse that he can't be colluding with Russia because he's so hard on them. In a Sunday panel discussion, Brinkley called the president the best friend Russia has ever had.
In a telephone interview with Fox News host Jeanie Pirro, Trump said he's been "tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other -- probably any other president, period. But certainly the last three or four presidents, modern-day presidents. Nobody has been as tough as I have, from any standpoint."
Brinkley found it absurd.
"It's wildly inaccurate," Brinkley called Trump's assessment. "He's the best friend that Russia has had. And I'm talking about even, you know, for decades. Look at what's happened in the last couple of years since Trump has been president. It's a gift to Putin, the United States now pulling out of Syria. The undermining of our NATO alliance. The pulling out of the climate accord and making Russia look good on the issue of climate and the United States not in the game at all."
It's why he and others think that something is "amiss," he said. "There is too much Russia going on, and not enough Americanism. And so I'm deeply concerned that these stories that have just come out are only adding to this narrative that Donald Trump seems to be beholden to Putin. We don't know whether it's because of financial dealings in the 1980s or about collusion in the 2016 election, or whether there's some secret tape they have."
Whatever the reason, Brinkley said that it seems like Russia is blackmailing Trump.
Watch the conversation in the video below: