Donald Trump brushes off 'killer' Vladimir Putin description

Donald Trump (Fox News)
US President Donald Trumpm (Fox News)

US President Donald Trump has dismissed accusations Russian President Vladimir Putin has murdered journalists and dissidents.

In an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Mr Trump brushed aside Mr O'Reilly's comment Mr Putin was a killer, saying "there are a lot of killers".

"We have a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?" Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump insisted he respected Mr Putin, "but that doesn't mean I'll get along with them".

"He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not and if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS [Islamic State], which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world, major fight, that's a good thing."

Mr Trump had also been pressed on the same topic in 2015, in an interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe.

When host Joe Scarborough pointed out to Mr Trump "[Mr Putin] kills journalists that don't agree with him", Mr Trump replied: "Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing too, Joe."

The full interview is due to air before the Super Bowl on Sunday (local time).

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