Donald Trump on Tuesday advocated strengthening ties with Russia while making the case that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be capable of negotiating with the country’s leader.
The Republican nominee told a town hall audience in Virginia that Russian President Vladimir Putin would laugh at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should she become president.
“Hillary likes to play tough with Russia,” Trump said. “Putin looks at her and he laughs, OK. He laughs. Putin looks at Hillary Clinton and he smiles.”
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He continued: “Boy, would he like to see her. That would be easy. Just look at her decisions. Look how bad her decisions have been. Virtually every decision she’s made has been a loser.”
Trump later mocked her rhetoric about being strong in the face of a rising Russia.
“She tries to do the tough talk and then she leaves,” Trump said.
He also said he’d like to work more closely with Russia to defeat the terrorist group ISIS in the Middle East.
“Wouldn’t it be nice, honestly, because Russia doesn’t like ISIS any better than we do, wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with Russia and we could knock them out together? Wouldn’t that be a good thing?” Trump said. “As opposed to, you know, tough talk.”
Some foreign policy experts have said that Russia, which entered the Syrian civil war last year to aid President Bashar al-Assad, isn’t a reliable partner in the fight against ISIS. Russia has generally targeted anti-Assad rebels with airstrikes inside Syria, although it has also hit some ISIS targets.