At the vice presidential debate on Tuesday night, Mike Pence opened his attacks on the Democratic nominee with a critique of her work as secretary of state, citing turmoil in the Middle East and a “newly emboldened” Russia. “But you guys love Russia!” his opponent, Tim Kaine, interjected. Pence fumbled to recover, changing the subject.
As far back as early as 2007, Trump has repeatedly praised the Russian president and claimed that they would get along. In a July press conference, Trump encouraged Russian hackers to find Clinton’s missing emails. In a statement last December, he expressed gratitude for Putin’s compliments, calling him a “man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” He added, “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”