President Donald Trump repeatedly pivoted all reporters’ questions about Russia to highlight former President Barack Obama’s failure to contain Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive actions.
During a press conference, one reporter criticized Trump for signaling his openness to welcoming Putin back to the G7 summit after Obama joined world leaders in 2014 by exiling him from the summit after he annexed Crimea.
“President Obama was not happy that this happened because it was embarrassing to him,” Trump said, adding that after Obama was “outsmarted” by Putin he could understand how Obama felt.
Trump also noted Obama backing down from his infamous “red line” on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and his failure to keep Russia from annexing Crimea.
“I’m not blaming him, but a lot of bad things happened with President Putin and President Obama,” Trump said.
When the reporter criticized Trump for “misleading” Americans by saying that Russia outsmarted Obama by annexing Crimea, Trump replied, “He did.”
“It was annexed during President Obama – I know you like President Obama – but it was annexed during President Obama’s term,” Trump continued, referring to Russia annexing Crimea in 2014.
Trump said he was willing to welcome Putin back to the summit, despite past aggressive actions in Europe, and said that other world leaders agreed with him.
“I think it would better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent,” Trump said. “Do we live either way? Yes, we live either way.”