WASHINGTON: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has favoured strong relations between the US and Russia in wiping out the Islamic State terror group.
"You know Russia, like us, has nuclear weapons folks. It would be really nice if we got along with Russia and others that we don't get along with right now and wouldn't it be nice if we teamed up with Russia and others, including surrounding states and maybe NATO and we knocked the hell out of ISIS and got rid of these people?" Trump said during a town hall in Columbus, Ohio yesterday.
He said the Russian President Vladimir Putin had praised him to which he responded positively, but this was used by his opponents to criticise him.
"Putin said some very good things about me, people say, oh, Trump's going to be weak with Putin because Putin is saying nice things about me. Ok, all right. And I said he's a strong guy. They immediately say, oh, Trump likes."
"But, look, I don't like or dislike. I just say it this way," he said.
Trump added that it would be great if the United States and Russia got along and knocked out ISIS together and do other positive things.
He alleged the Obama Administration "forced" the Russians through stupidity into an alliance with China.
"You know why? Because of oil. Because China needs oil. We were driving both crazy. They formed and from the time I was a young guy, I've always learned, don't ever let China and Russia get together, we forced them together," Trump said.
"Obama forced them together. Because you didn't get along with either and they did eventually, China came in and said, "let's make a deal on oil. They're together."
In fact, they're doing naval exercises together someplace.
Talking about China's dominance in the South China Sea, Trump said, "You look at China, they're building one of the largest military installations in the world right smack in the middle of the South China Sea."
"Then they talk about Donald Trump and Russia, or Donald Trump, but believe me, folks, somebody can say nice things about me, he did call me a genius but these are minor details, somebody can say nice things about me, it has, it makes no difference," he said, adding he does not care about people calling bad things about him.
The Republican presidential nominee also alleged the Russians entered Ukraine under Obama's watch.
He rued that the US media has distorted his remarks on it.
"I said very simply they're not gonna do it on my watch, essentially. I said Russia will not go into the Ukraine, now I said that. And the next day, the story comes out and we really let it roll a little bit," Trump said.
"The person said but they're already in Ukraine. I said yeah well, that was two years ago, that's I mean you wanna go back? You wanna have World War III to get it back?" he asked.
"That was during Obama's watch," he added.