President Trump says that Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defeated him for the White House in 2016.
“As an example, if Hillary had won, our military would be decimated,” he said on the Christian Broadcast Network’s “The 700 Club” Wednesday. “Our energy would be much more expensive.”
“So there are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he would want,” Trump told CBN founder Pat Robertson.
“So what I keep hearing about that he would rather had Trump, I think ‘probably not,’ because I want a strong military, you know she wouldn’t have spent the money on military.”
Some Twitter users on Wednesday mocked Trump’s claim, which comes amid multiple U.S. investigations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race.
Vladimir Putin had a personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton, he hated her.— BEN (@Bensvoice) July 12, 2017
Donald Trump held a beauty pageant in Moscow.
LOL the only reason Trump is president is that Vladimir Putin was pants-shittingly terrified of Hillary Clinton.— CloudFactory (@Row_Boat_Cop) July 12, 2017
Trump’s interview with Robertson airs in full Thursday and is reportedly the president’s first huddle with an outlet besides Fox News in two months.
The president additionally told Roberts that Putin is especially worried about his energy policies for the U.S. and how they impact Russia.
“[Putin] would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills,” Trump said. “He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia as you know relies very much on energy.”
“When I want tremendous energy, we’re opening up coal, we’re opening natural gas, we’re opening up fracking, all the things that [Putin] would hate, but nobody ever mentions that.”
The FBI and several congressional committees are probing Russia interference in the 2016 presidential race, including possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.
The U.S. intelligence committee has determined that Russia intruded in the contest to help Trump defeat Clinton last November.