- The Washington Times
Friday, June 15, 2018

President Trump said Friday that he’s looking to meet sometime this summer with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that the U.S. should move beyond its objections to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 because then-President Barack Obama failed to stop it.

“It’s possible that we’ll meet, yeah,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House.

Noting that he has proposed for the Group of Seven nations to readmit Russia, which was kicked out of the coalition over the illegal taking of Crimea from Ukraine, Mr. Trump said, “I think it’s better to have Russia in, than to have Russia out.”

“President Obama lost Crimea long before I got here,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s his fault. President Obama lost Crimea, because President Putin didn’t respect President Obama, didn’t respect our country. President Obama, not Trump. When it’s my fault, I’ll tell you.”

He said the episode was just part of Mr. Obama losing international respect during his presidency. Mr. Trump also raised Mr. Obama’s infamous “red line” in Syria, when Mr. Obama vowed to attack Syria if it used chemical weapons in its civil war, but then backed off the threat when Syria did use chemical weapons.

“When he didn’t go across the red line, what he gave away, nobody even knows,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump has launched missile strikes against Syria twice for using chemical weapons.

“I went across it [the red line] with 59 missile hits,” he told reporters.

He concluded, “One more time — President Obama gave away Crimea. That should have never happened.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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