A slew of Republicans have criticized Donald Trump’s shocking supportiveness for Vladimir Putin’s assassinations but Mike Huckabee was there for some Fox News Trump rehab. And host Melissa Francis was there to help!
Here’s the full exchange about Putin from Trump’s Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly (via SB Nation):
O’REILLY: You talked to Putin last week. You had a busy week last week.
TRUMP: Busy week and a half.
O’REILLY Do you respect Putin?
TRUMP: I do respect him but —
O’REILLY: Do you? Why?
TRUMP: Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. 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, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.
O’REILLY But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.
TRUMP: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?
O’REILLY: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.
TRUMP: Well — take a look at what we’ve done too. We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.
O’REILLY: But mistakes are different than —
TRUMP: A lot of mistakes, but a lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of many Republicans who decried Trump’s remarks. But not Huckabee! He dismissed the criticism by saying it’s normal for people in the Senate and the House to distance themselves from the executive branch. He then issued a warning to McConnell: “What McConnell has to be careful of is he doesn’t want to alienate the 60 million voters who voted for Donald Trump and who, frankly, were as mad at the Republicans leadership and all as they were at the Democrats.”
Huckabee continued, “He’s gotta be careful that he doesn’t sort of signal that he wants to keep the swamp filled with gators and frogs and all kind of reptiles and he’s gonna pour water back into it.”
Francis laughed loudly.
Francis added her own spin, falsely suggesting that it was only liberals who objected to Trump's remarks: “It seems like, from Trump’s point of view … when liberals sort of light their hair on fire about whatever is going on, he doubles down on what he said before and his supporters like that, right?”
Huckabee agreed, of course. He called it “refreshing” that Trump is “completely unencumbered by popular opinion.”
Francis moved on to suggest that the media was making too much of Trump’s remarks about Putin.
FRANCIS: The media really pouncing on this and again, it’s one of those things that while there are policy changes going on, they get very invested in this kind of back and forth. Is that a shiny object intentionally maybe being put in front of the press so that they go off in one direction and meanwhile the president is off doing something else? It’s kinda what it looks like.
But Huckabee hilariously insisted that Trump’s behavior was admirably presidential and should be praised for it.
HUCKABEE: So many critics of Donald Trump said he’s unfiltered. You know he’s gonna get us into all these disputes with foreign governments because he’s to blunt.
He is like the New Testament character of Nathaniel. In whom there is no guile which means no pretense, there’s not phoniness. What you see is what you get.
Donald Trump is acting more statesman-like in saying, “Look, I’m not gonna call another foreign leader a murderer or a thug on international television ‘cause that kinda makes it hard to work with him.”
So he doesn’t do it and instead of the press saying, “Yes , you know he’s acting more presidential now rather than just firing off.” Now he gets in trouble for that. So proof positive, Melissa, whatever Donald Trump says as president somebody, is not gonna like it.
Francis agreed, saying, “That is for sure, Governor.”
Watch this Trump love-fest below, from the February 6, 2017 America’s Newsroom.
Btw, he pretty much has to defend Trump on everything (no matter how ridiculous it makes him look) because his daughter, Sarah, works in the Trump WH (as the White House Deputy Press Secretary; she helps Sean Spicer catapult the crap in his press briefings).