Trump hopes to get along with Russia, ‘knock the hell out of ISIS together’

In an interview to Fox News on Friday, Trump said it would be to the advantage of both Russia and the US to mend ties and pool their efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Speaking to Sean Hannity of Fox News, US President Donald Trump said that he looks forward to speaking with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

“He called me after I won, but I haven’t had a discussion, but I understand we will be having a discussion soon,” Trump told Hannity. 

On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Trump and Putin will have a phone conversation on Saturday.

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Trump again reiterated his intention to pursue good relations with Russia, pointing out that it would be mutually beneficial and would allow both sides to step up the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL).

“I don’t know Putin, but if we can get along with Russia that’s a great thing, it’s good for Russia, it’s good for us, we go out together and knock the hell out of ISIS, because that’s a real sickness,” he said.

Trump has repeatedly spoken of his desire to mend relations with Russia, not excluding the possibility of lifting the sanctions against Russia in the future, depending on its contribution to fight against terrorism and cooperation on other issues, like curbing nuclear proliferation.

“If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?” he said in a recent interview to the Wall Street Journal, saying that he did not see any problem in holding a meeting with Putin.

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“I understand that they would like to meet, and that’s absolutely fine with me,” he said.

Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the much-anticipated meeting between Putin and Trump is a matter of months rather than weeks. “It won’t happens in a matter of weeks. Let’s hope that it can happen in months to come,” Peskov told BBC, adding that “Putin will be ready” for the meeting whenever it occurs.