Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Sunday avoided answering questions from Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum about former President Trump’s past praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it was not “a conversation worth having.”
MacCallum asked Cornyn if he thought Trump’s previous positive comments about Putin, who faces international revulsion over his war in Ukraine, would help or hurt the former president if he decides to run for reelection.
She noted that Trump had previously called Putin’s pre-war strategy “genius” and had also called on the Russian leader to turn over information on Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, that Trump claimed he may be aware of.
“I wouldn’t trust Vladimir Putin any farther than I could throw him,” Cornyn said.
“I think that’s really … that’s really the answer. Because Putin is a killer, he’s a thug, he has a vision of restoring the Russian Empire, the fall of which he said was the greatest geopolitical tragedy in the last 100 years. So I wouldn’t trust Vladimir Putin for a minute,” Cornyn added.
MacCallum then further pressed Cornyn on what he thought of Trump’s past comments, asking if he was acknowledging that they were “unwise.”
Cornyn responded that he didn’t think it was “a conversation worth having.”
Last week, Trump publicly called on Putin to release any information he may have on Hunter Biden on the basis of unsubstantiated claims that the Bidens had received millions of dollars from Elena Baturina, the wife of Moscow’s former mayor.
Putin has previously said that he was unaware of any connections between the Bidens and Baturina.
Trump’s request for assistance from Putin elicited some pushback from Republican lawmakers, with GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Mitt Romney (Utah) saying Putin was not someone who should be asked for favors.