"It's okay to have a relationship. You don't have to go to wars. We don't have to lose our great soldiers. We don't have to. It's good. If I got along with Putin, somebody said 'He gets along well with Putin!' And I'm saying to myself 'But isn't that sort of a good thing?' Is that bad?" Trump said.
Citing FBI Director Christopher Wray's claims about Russia's alleged meddling in the US elections from the day before, Trump said "Here we go again — Russia, Russia, Russia. What about China? What about North Korea? What about Iran? They don't mention anybody else. The narrative seems to be Russia."
"Millions of phone calls made," Trump continued, pointing at himself. "Not one to Russia. Millions of phone calls received — not one from Russia."
At the same time, Trump noted that "there has never been anybody so tough on Russia with the sanctions."
The US is set to hold a presidential election on 3 November.
The United States earlier accused Russia of meddling in its political processes, in particular, during the 2016 presidential election. Moscow has consistently denied the allegation, demanding for it to come with facts to be valid.