WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday was on the defensive because of his friendly overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying in a Twitter post, “the haters are going crazy.”
Trump said, “I don’t know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy – yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, #1 in terror, no problem!” 6:11 a.m.
Backstory: Trump in an interview with Fox News Bill O’Reilly, shown during the Super bowl, was asked why he said he respected Putin, who was, O’Reilly said, a “killer.”
Replied, Trump,“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” That statement drew criticism because it put the U.S. on equal moral footing with Putin’s actions.
The reference to Iran is about the deal with Iran to curb that nation’s ability to make a nuclear weapon, a legacy item of President Barack Obama. The deal was made between Iran, the U.S. and other nations: Great Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.
Israel opposed the deal. So it should be interesting to see what Trump has to say after he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington later this month.
Meanwhile, Trump on Tuesday morning gets his daily intelligence briefing and then holds what the White House is calling “listening sessions” with county sheriffs and another dealing with veteran’s affairs.
He is also meeting with Rep. Jason Chaffetz R-Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Chaffetz is powerful because his panel has vast powers to launch investigations.
Later on Tuesday, Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and speaks over the phone with the prime minister of Spain and the president of Turkey.
ON DECK: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer briefs today, his first in the briefing room since Melissa McCarthy’s wicked impersonation of him on “Saturday Night Live.”