U.S. President Donald Trump has shrugged off a description of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "killer," saying the United States has "a lot of killers" as well.
The interview, to be broadcast by Fox Television on February 5, will air before the Super Bowl American football championship. Excerpts were released on February 4.
At one point, interviewer Bill O'Reilly asked Trump if he respected Putin.
"I do respect him," he said. "But I respect a lot of people. That doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him."
"I say it's better to get along with Russia than not, and if Russia helps us in the fight against [Islamic State militants], which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world...that's a good thing."
"But he's a killer, though. Putin's a killer," O'Reilly said.
"There are a lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers," Trump said. "What do you think? Our country's so innocent?"
Trump Defends Putin, Says U.S. Has 'Killers' Too