Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “aggressive and imperialist ambitions” are responsible for the poor relationship between the US and Russia, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine said on Sunday.
“I don’t think you can make an argument that the relationship with Russia is in a good place right now. But that’s not the US’ fault, that’s Vladimir Putin’s aggressive and imperialist ambitions,” Kaine told ABC News.
“Here is a guy who violated international law at the end of the Bush administration by moving into the Ossetia region of Georgia. And then he’s violated international law by annexing the Crimean portion of the Ukraine and destabilising the Eastern Ukraine,” he said.
“Donald Trump was not even aware that Putin had gone into Crimea as recently as two weeks ago. He promised that Putin would not and had to be reminded that Putin went in and took over Crimea two years ago,” Kaine said, taking a swipe at Trump.
This is just one of a number of “very, very troubling instances” that have shown Trump’s coziness with Putin, Kaine alleged.
“He’s already had to let go one campaign chairperson, Paul Manafort,” said the Senator from Virginia, who is schedule to deliver a major foreign policy speech next week.
Russia went into Georgia, the South Ossetia region of Georgia, when President George Bush was in office, before President Obama was elected. And he went into Crimea during the Obama administration, he noted.
“But to try to say that’s the US’ fault is ridiculous. The guy is a dictator, who represses journalists — and there’s another tie. Donald Trump is banning journalists from outlets he doesn’t like from covering him on a campaign. He’s taken some lessons from Putin and others. But to say that Putin’s imperial ambitions are the fault of anybody in the United States is ridiculous,” Kaine alleged.
Responding to questions on the FBI report on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, he said those notes demonstrate in very significant detail, why the FBI chose not to go forward with any additional proceeding.
“She did make a mistake. And she made by deciding she wanted to use one device rather than multiple devices. She’s apologised for that. She said it was a mistake. And she’s learned from it,” Kaine asserted.
“The reason these materials are being made public is that Hillary Clinton said I want the public to see them. When Congress asked the FBI, give us your notes, Hillary said, yes, that’s great, give them your notes but let the American public see it,” Kaine said.