Trump appears on Russian TV to criticise US policy

  • 10/09/2016
Donald Trump (Reuters)
Donald Trump (Reuters)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticised US policy in Iraq again, but this time he aired his grievances on an unusual platform: a Russian government-funded television network.

Mr Trump, who has often praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the comments in an interview with former CNN broadcaster Larry King, whose podcast was aired on Thursday night on the RT network, a 24-hour news channel that broadcasts in both English and Russian.

Critics of the network, which mostly targets audiences outside of Russia and also includes programming in Spanish, Hindi and Arabic, have described it as a propaganda arm of Mr Putin's government.

Traditionally, American presidential candidates do not bash their country before a foreign audience, even if they are fierce critics of the current administration while campaigning in the United States.

The White House said it had no comment on Mr Trump's remarks.

Mr Trump's praise of Mr Putin, which he repeated during a televised national security forum on Wednesday night, has drawn sharp criticism from Democrats and some Republicans.

Mr Trump told Mr King he does not think the Russians were intervening in US elections, a concern expressed by some US officials and by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump criticised US policy in Iraq from the time of Republican President George W Bush, who ordered the American-led invasion in 2003 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda attacks on the United States.

Mr Trump then attacked President Obama and Ms Clinton, the president's first secretary of state, for their roles in the US troop withdrawal from Iraq.

In the national security forum on Wednesday night, Ms Clinton and Mr Trump sought to portray themselves as most fit to be commander in chief, with Mr Trump arguing that Mr Putin is a better leader than Mr Obama.

Ms Clinton on Thursday said Mr Trump's comment was "not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country, as well as to our commander in chief, it is scary".

Mr Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, defended the comment. Mr Pence called it "inarguable" that Mr Putin is a stronger leader than the US president.