Hillary Clinton said she was not surprised that rival Donald Trump appeared on a Russian-owned television network to praise Vladimir Putin.
After a press conference on national security, Clinton was walking away from the podium when a reporter shouted out a question about Trump’s interview with journalist Larry King on a state-owned Russian TV network Thursday. She shrugged for comic effect then returned to the podium.
“Every day that goes by, this just becomes more and more of a reality television show,” she said. “It’s not a serious presidential campaign. And it is beyond one’s imagination to have a candidate for president praising a Russian autocrat like Vladimir Putin and throwing his lot in with him in the way that he has.”
Clinton criticized Trump for not acknowledging that Putin has invaded Ukraine, saying the Republican nominee “approved of (Putin’s) wishlist” and doesn’t “even really” understand “what Putin has already done” and calling his praise “an unseemly identification.”
Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Putin, including at a commander in chief forum on NBC Wednesday in which he argued that Putin has been more of a leader than President Obama. But his campaign claimed they did not know that the King interview—in which Trump bashed the American media as well as Clinton and Obama—would be broadcast on RT America.
“Can I say I was surprised?” Clinton said. “I’m not sure anything surprises us any more.”