Russia large & important country with big military, should be part of solution, not problem - Obama
President Obama says Russia is a large and important country whose military is “second only” to that of America, while at the same time calling it “aggressive.” He criticized Donald Trump for “unprecedented” in US politics flattery towards Vladimir Putin.
While still holding on to his critical rhetoric towards Moscow, Obama has not hesitated to bring up Donald Trump’s campaign, specifically scolding him for “modeling” Russia’s President’s policies.
“Mr. Trump’s continued flattery of Mr. Putin and the degree to which he appears to model many of his policies and approaches to politics on Mr. Putin is unprecedented in American politics and is out of step with not just what Democrats think but out of step with what up until the last few months, almost every Republican thought, including some of the ones who are now endorsing Mr. Trump,” Obama said.
He went on to say that the next president should call out Russia over its “behavior,” which he said “undermined international norms.”
“Anybody who occupies the office should feel the same way,” Obama said, adding, “Mr. Trump rarely surprises me these days.”
Obama said he was “surprised and troubled” by what he called “quite a reversal” among Republicans, pointing specifically at those officials who “historically been adamantly anti-Russian” and “attacked” him for “engaging them [Russians] diplomatically.”
“You will have to ask them how they would explain that,” Obama said.
President Obama’s comments toward Russia appeared to be more “subdued” compared to his previous statements he made on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton.