Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled Russian President Vladimir Putin in a face-to-face interview on Monday.
According to The Hill, Wallace scored an exclusive interview with the Putin after the Helsinki summit with President Trump and their highly controversial joint press conference.
Wallace threw intense questions at President Putin even at one point dramatically held up special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and demanded answers.
Wallace questioned Putin on the numerous reports of his political rivals being attacked.
The Fox News host referenced both domestic and foreign attacks of Putin rivals, such as the recent nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom and the 2015 murder of Putin’s political opponent Boris Nemtsov.
There have also been reports of Russian journalists being jailed or killed for criticizing Putin.
“Well, first of all, all of us have plenty of political rivals. I’m pretty sure President Trump has plenty of political rivals,” Putin quipped back at Wallace.
“But they don’t end up dead,” the Fox News host responded.
In response, Putin pointed out the assassinations of U.S. presidents and mentioned civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was also murdered for political purposes.
The Russian president also seemingly references the highly published police shootings of unarmed black citizens in the United States.
“Well, haven’t presidents been killed in the United States? Have you forgotten about — well, has Kennedy been killed in Russia or in the United States? Or Mr. King? What happens to the clashes between police and, well, civil society, and some —several ethnic groups? Well, that’s something that happens on the U.S. soil. All of us have our own set of domestic problems.”
“Disgraceful.” “Detrimental.” “A sign of weakness.” Just some of the words Republicans used to describe President Trump’s remarks from Putin press conference. pic.twitter.com/WERZ2ObtRq— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 17, 2018
Putin went on to directly addressed domestic crimes in Russia as a “side effect” of the Russian maturing as a nation.
The Russian president also called into question the evidence of the assassinations attributed to Russia and demanded that the United Kingdom provides more proof of Russia’s involvement in the Skripal Novichok poisoning case.
Putin also denied that he acquired compromising material on President Trump following his 2013 visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.
The Russian president argues that Trump was one of many wealthy Americans that visited Russia and he couldn’t have known that the then-businessman and reality TV star would one day run for president.
“He was in the construction business. He organized the beauty pageants. But no, it would never occur to anyone that he would think of running for president.”
The question was in reference to the Steele dossier, which is a document alleging the existence of a “pee tape” that the Russians may have used to blackmail President Trump. However, there is no evidence that it exists.