US President Donald Trump has said that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would have been happier if his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton would have won the general elections in America.
In his first major interview after meeting Putin in Hamburg last week, Trump said he and the Russian leader both are advocating interest of their respective countries. But there is scope for co-operation between the two at the global stage.
“We are the most powerful country in the world and we are getting more and more powerful because I’m a big military person. As an example, if Hillary had won, our military would be decimated.Our energy would be much more expensive. That’s what Putin doesn’t like about me,” Trump told Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
“And that’s why I say, why would he want me? Because from day one I wanted a strong military, he doesn’t want to see that…He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills. He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia as you know relies very much on energy” he said, according to excerpts of the interview released by CBN.
The US President argued that he was the exact opposite of what Putin would have liked.
“So there are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he would want. So what I keep hearing about that he would have rather had Trump, I think ‘probably not,’ because when I want a strong military, you know she wouldn’t have spent the money on military…When I want tremendous energy, we’re opening up coal, we’re opening up natural gas, we’re opening up fracking, all the things that he would hate, but nobody ever mentions that,” he said.
In the middle of a political storm, because of allegations of Russian connections by his campaign, Trump said the two countries can get along together.
“Well he wants what’s good for Russia, and I want what’s good for the United States. And I think in a case like Syria where we can get together, do a ceasefire, and there are many other cases where getting along can be a very positive thing, but always Putin is going to want Russia and Trump is going to want the United States and that’s the way it is,” Trump told CBN.
Trump also said his long meeting with Putin in Hamburg in Germany, on the sidelines of the G20 summit, went well.
“Yeah, I think we get along very well and I think that’s a good thing, that’s not a bad thing. People said, ‘Oh they shouldn’t get along.’ Well, who are the people that are saying that? I think we get along very, very well. We are a tremendously powerful nuclear power, and so are they. It doesn’t make sense not to have some kind of a relationship,” Trump said.
He also said he was glad that the ceasefire in Syria, as agreed to by both US and Russia, had continued.
(With inputs from agencies)