US President Donald Trump has suggested during an interview on the news programme Full Measure that Russian President Vladimir Putin is very fond of him, but is not interested in his further success as US president.
"He likes me, but I think he doesn’t want me to win the election", Trump said.
POTUS went on to suggest that China is also on the list of actors who want to see him lose his re-election bid this autumn. While he has not elaborated on this remark, Trump has taken an aggressive stance towards China lately, accusing its government of coving up information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump also initiated a trade war with the Asian country in 2018, a matter that has not yet been resolved, but is now on the verge of escalating further. Despite achieving a certain degree of success in negotiating a new trade deal, Trump's key condition for lifting tariffs on Chinese goods, POTUS recently suggested that Washington might undertake new economic actions against Beijing in light of alleged cover-ups related to the pandemic.
Trump's Relations With Russia
In the past, Trump has made numerous statements claiming that he has taken a "tough" stance towards Russia and even alleged that he was tougher on the country than any other US president before him. These remarks were made amid ongoing allegations that Trump and his campaign had conspired with Russia in order to win the 2016 election in exchange for pursuing a more favourable policy towards Moscow.
These allegations dogged Trump for at least the first two years of his presidency despite the US president and Moscow vehemently denying them. Trump's continuation and escalation of the US sanctions policy towards Russia, as well as the expulsion of Russian diplomats, didn't stop the accusations either. POTUS' "tough" stance towards Moscow apparently also revealed itself in his use of minor and unsubstantiated pretexts to ditch arms control agreements with Moscow, such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty, while ignoring the US' own violations of these accords, which have been pointed out by the Kremlin.
After two years of investigating the accusations against Trump and his team, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that there was no evidence to support claims that such a conspiracy between Trump and Moscow ever existed.