President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to U.S. sanctions against Russia only weeks after starting his campaign in July 2015.
Mother Jones notes that Trump was speaking at FreedomFest, a libertarian convention in Las Vegas, when he was asked about President Obama’s sanctions against Russia by Maria Butina, the protege of the powerful Russian banking official and Putin ally Alexander Torshin.
Butina asked Trump:
My question will be about foreign politics. If you will be elected as president, what will be your foreign politics especially in the relationships with my country? And do you want to continue the politics of sanctions that are damaging of both economy [sic]? Or you have any other ideas?
Trump attacked President Obama for several minutes before finally answering her question:
I know Putin, and I’ll tell you what, we get along with Putin… I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, OK? And I mean, where we have the strength. I don’t think you’d need the sanctions. I think we would get along very, very well.