In a special interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, U.S. President Donald Trump defended Russian President Vladimir Putin and said that he respects him.

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As Fox News gets ready to air a special interview with U.S. President Donald Trump, the network released a segment from the interview that includes a controversial remark made by Trump. When asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said that he respects him.

“I do respect him but I respect a lot of people,” Trump said in the interview with Bill O’Reilly. “That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.” When O’Reilly called Putin a “killer,” Trump said: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” Trump added that he will value any support from Russia and that he prefers to get along with Moscow than otherwise.

Trump and Putin

Trump and Putin Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

O’Reilly questioned Trump about his claim that 3 million illegal aliens voted for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and helped her win the population vote count, a claim that has been rejected by many analysts. “When you see… people who are not citizens and they are the registration rolls… it’s a really bad situation,” Trump said. Trump countered O’Reilly’s question by saying that many actually support his claim about illegal voters in states where Clinton won.