Donald Trump supports Putin ‘bombing the hell out of ISIS’

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump © Gretchen Ertl
Moscow is “bombing the hell out of ISIS” because President Putin wants to prevent terrorism spilling into Russia, said US presidential candidate Donald Trump, criticizing failed US Middle Eastern policies that have already turned Iraq and Libya into a total mess.

“It is not even a contest!” Donald Trump said in response to an NBC News presenter’s question about whether it had been better when Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were in power.

“Iraq is a disaster… Libya is not even a country,” he explained. “You can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there – it’s a mess. If you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there – it's a mess.”

Trump said that Washington is “destroying our country” by wasting too much money on Middle Eastern policies that do not seem to work: “We have spent $2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan…”

“[Syria] is going to be the same thing,” Trump said, criticizing US support of so-called moderate Syrian rebels.

READ MORE: Nobody can clearly define what 'moderate opposition' in Syria is - Kremlin spokesman

At one point the interviewer mentioned that Russian airstrikes could be “hitting people we’ve trained,” but Trump interrupted him by stating: “We are talking about people we don’t even know!”

“The rebel group we have no idea … I was talking to a general two days ago, he said: ‘We have no idea who these people are.’ We are training people, we don’t know who they are. We are giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad,” Trump said.

“We are fighting Assad and fighting for people, helping people ...we even don’t understand who they are. And they may be worse than Assad. They may be worse,” Trump reiterated. However, he emphasized that he was “not saying Assad is a good guy.”

Follow LIVE UPDATES on Russian anti-terror op in Syria

Trump stressed that he has nothing against the Russian anti-terrorist operation in Syria.

“I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS,” Trump said, adding that he believes that the target of the airstrikes is indeed “going to be ISIS.”

“I'll tell you why. Putin has to get rid of ISIS 'cause Putin does not want ISIS coming into Russia,” Trump said. However, he explained that he hopes the operation will eventually weaken Russia and that Russian President Putin “will be begging to get out.”

“You watch, he’ll get bogged down there. He’ll spend a fortune,” Trump forecast. “Everybody that's gone to the Middle East has had nothing but problems.”