In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Donald Trump has claimed that the Russian President Vladimir Putin would have preferred Hillary Clinton to have won the US presidency.
Speaking to the veteran and highly conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, thePpresident, who is battling allegations that Putin helped him win the race to the White House last year, said 'Why would he [Putin] want me?' because Trump is 'a strong military person'.
In a clear attempt to divert attention from revelations over US intelligence saying the Russian leader directed a covert effort to help defeat her, Trump told Robertson: '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. 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.'
Trump continued: '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...There are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he [Putin] would want.'
However, Trump added that he got along 'very, very well' with Putin, whom he met in Hamburg last week.
The CBN interview will air later today on 'The 700 Club' show for the network. In it, Trump is asked also about North Korea, terrorism and the Middle East.
In another segment released ahead of the airing, Trump was asked what would happen if Congress was unable to pass a bill to overhaul the healthcare system.
'I will be very angry about it and a lot of people will be very upset,' Trump said. 'But I'm sitting waiting for that bill to come to my desk. I hope that they do it. They've been promising it for years.'
Trump said that now is the time for repeal, since the Republicans control the White House and Congress. 'Now we have a president that's waiting to sign it,' Trump told Robertson. 'I have pen in hand so now it means something. You know, those other times, those many, many times, that they passed it, it didn't mean anything.'
In a separate interview with Reuters, Trump denied that he knew that his son, Donald Trump Jr., was meeting with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in June during the preseidential campaign. 'No. That I didn't know,' he said. 'Until a couple of days ago, when I heard about this. No I didn't know about that.'
Trump Jr, in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, said: 'In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently.'