Donald Trump has not hesitated to call Democrats and the press the “enemy of the American people,” but apparently he draws the line at Russia.
In a Fox News interview that aired this week after his controversial summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump pushed back when asked if he viewed Russia as an adversary to the United States. Though Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation had just turned in 12 indictments against Russian military officers days earlier for stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Trump demurred at the idea that Russia is an enemy of the United States, Newsweek noted.
“I don’t want to use the word ‘adversary.’ We can work together, everybody can do well, and we can live in peace,” Trump told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Donald Trump was under fire for backing Vladimir Putin’s denial that Russia had been involved in election interference, and though he walked back the claim after furious opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, he appeared to stick by that assessment in the interview with Tucker Carlson, which had been filmed before his reversal.
In the interview, Trump cited both countries fighting on the same side in World War II.
“Russia lost 50 million people and helped us win the war,” Trump said. “I was just saying to myself the other day, you know, Russia really helped us. I’m not pro-Russia, pro-anybody. I just want to have this country be safe.”
While he may have been hesitant to label Russia as an enemy of the United States, Donald Trump has not shown similar caution when speaking about his political enemies or his perceived adversaries in the American press. Donald Trump has frequently referred to both Democrats and the press as an “enemy of the American people.”
As Time noted, Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign released an ad in the wake of the deadly Charlottesville white supremacist demonstrations last year that called the press and career Democratic politicians the enemy.
Donald Trump reiterated the statement that Democrats and the press are the enemy just before his summit with Putin kicked off earlier this week, launching into them in a tweet while he was en route to Helsinki.
Donald Trump also seems to be out of step with the American people on Russia. A recent poll from NBC News/SurveyMonkey found that 68 percent viewed Russia as an enemy of the United States, up nine percent from one year ago.