Some Republicans are slamming President Donald Trump for his kind words about Vladimir Putin.
Trump in an interview that aired Sunday during the Fox Super Bowl pre-game show said he had respect for the Russian president and asked whether the U.S. was innocent when Fox News' Bill O’Reilly called Putin a killer.
"There are a lot of killers. Lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent? You think our country is so innocent?" Trump said, to which O’Reilly responded "I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers."
"Take a look at what we've done, too," Trump said. "We've made a lot of mistakes. I've been against the war in Iraq since the beginning. A lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me."
Rep. Liz Cheney called Trump’s comments "troubling and wrong" while Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that America is not the "same as Putin."
Rep. Steve King defended Trump but also said he wished he hadn’t made the remarks.
"I don’t think his words came out very well," he said on CNN Sunday morning. "I agree that there is no a moral equivalency between the United States and Russia, although when I listened to one of the senators that said Putin is against freedom of religion, he's actually been opening things up for the expansion of especially the Russian Orthodox Church."
"All in all, I wish the president hadn't made that remark because it implies there's a thought in his mind that there's a moral equivalency between us and Russia. At this point, I'd like to bring them up to our standards and say, welcome, but it's going to take a lot of years to get that done. And I would add that it's important that the president do work with Putin in Russia and planning together on how we defeat radical Islamic terrorism.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell called Putin a thug and said America doesn't operate the way the Russians do.
"Putin is a former KGZB agent. He's a thug,” McConnell said on CNN’s "State of the Union."
"He was not elected in a way that most people would consider a credible election. The Russians annexed Crimea. No, I don't think there is any equivalency with the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does."
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