President Trump delivered remarks during a White House press conference Wednesday regarding U.S.-Russia relations, asserting that they “may be at an all-time low,” while he applauded Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his efforts to ease tensions in Moscow.
“Right now, we’re not getting along with Russia at all, we may be at an all-time low,” Trump said during the joint presser with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general.
Following a nearly two-hour meeting with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin Wednesday, Tillerson made comments similar to Trump’s during a press conference with Sergey Lavrov, Tillerson’s Russian counterpart.
Tensions have escalated between the U.S. and Russia since last week’s U.S. missile strikes against the Assad regime in Syria—an ally of Russia—in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack launched against the Syrian people. Trump defended his decision to strike, referring to Bashar Assad as a “butcher” and contending, “I have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing.”
Trump was asked whether Syria could have carried out the attack without Russia’s knowledge, and he responded by saying it is “possible” but “probably unlikely.”
“I would like to think that they didn’t know, but certainly they could have, they were there,” he said.
Trump noted that it would be “fantastic” if the U.S. and Russia could get along.
Trump also remarked on NATO, stepping back from his pre-inauguration assessment that NATO is “obsolete,” and claiming that the organization has become more involved in fighting terrorism. “I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.”
According to Stoltenberg, “NATO can and must do more in the global fight against terrorism.”
When addressing the threat to the U.S. from North Korea, Trump said, “Right now the world is a mess. … By the time I’m finished, it’s going to be a lot better place to live in, because right now it’s nasty.”
Regarding China, Trump said that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had “very good chemistry” during last week’s meeting, and appeared hopeful that China will assist with the challenge of North Korea. “I think he wants to help. We’ll see whether or not he does.”
H/T: Fox News
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