Trump: "An Asset, Not A Liability" If Putin Likes Me; Does Anybody Really Think Hillary Would Be Tougher On Russia?

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FOX News' John Roberts asked Donald Trump about accusations that the Russian government has "compromising" information on him, and the threat of Russian hacking.

"If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability. Because we have a horrible relationship with Russia. Russia can help us fight ISIS," Trump said.

"I don't know that I'm going to get along with Vladimir Putin," he said. "I hope I do. But there's a good chance I won't. And if I don't, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break."

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS: Did the head of the intelligence agencies provide you with the two-page summary of these unsubstantiated allegation and secondly, do you accept their opinion that Vladimir Putin ordered the hack of the DNC and the attempted hack of the RNC? And if you do, how will that color your attempts to build a relationship with a leader who has been accused of committing an act of espionage?

DONALD TRUMP: First of all, these meetings are confidential, classified. So automatically, I'm not allowed to talk about what went on in a meeting, but we had many witnesses in that meeting.

Many of them with us. And I will say, again, I think it's a disgrace that information would be let out. I saw the information. I read the information outside of that meeting. It's all fake news. It's phony stuff. It didn't happen. And it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know, because you reported it and so did many of the other people.

It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together.

So I will tell you that not within the meeting, but outside of the meeting, somebody released it. It should never have been -- number one, should never have entered paper but it should never have been released. But I read what was released. And I think it is an absolute disgrace.

As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but we also get hacked by other countries and other people and I can say that, you know, when we lost 22 million names, and everything else that was hacked recently, they didn't make a big deal out of that. That was something that was extraordinary. That was probably China. We had much hacking going on.

And one of the things we're going to do, we have some of the greatest computer minds anywhere in the world that we've assembled. You saw just a sample of it two weeks ago where we had the six top people in the world. They were never in the same room together as a group. We're going to put those minds together, and we're going to form a defense.

And I have to say this also. The Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job. They could have had hacking defense, which we had. And I will give Reince Priebus credit, because when Reince saw what was happening in the world and with this country, he went out and went to various firms and ordered a very, very strong hacking defense. And they tried to hack the Republican National Committee, and they were unable to break through. We have to do that for our country. It's very important.

REPORTER: Just to the last part of that question, how could all of this potentially color your attempts to build a better relationship with President Putin?

TRUMP: Well, President Putin and Russia put out a statement today that this fake news was indeed fake news. They said it totally never happened. Now somebody would say, of course he's going to say that. I respected the fact that he said that.

And I'll be honest. I think if he did have something, they would have released it. They would have been glad to release it. Frankly had they broken into the Republican National Committee, I think they would have released it just like they did about Hillary and all of the horrible things her people like Mr. Podesta said about her. What he said about her was horrible.

If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability. Because we have a horrible relationship with Russia. Russia can help us fight ISIS, which, by the way, is number one tricky. If you look, this administration created ISIS by leaving at the wrong time. The void was created. ISIS was formed. If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks, that's call an asset, not a liability. Now I don't know that I'm going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there's a good chance I won't. And if I don't, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break. Okay.


Editor's note: An earlier version of this article noted that John Harwood was the reporter who asked the question. He was not. RCP Video regrets the error.

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