National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday dismissed ABC News host Jon Karl’s comparison of President Trump to Vladimir Putin in regards to their treatment of the press.
“I want to ask you about Putin and freedom of the press. Vladimir Putin in his government have jailed journalists, they’ve even been accusations that there have been — they’ve carried out murders of journalists critical of the Russian state,” Karl asked Bolton on “This Week” Sunday morning.
“And we hear President Trump — doesn’t he kind of contribute to that authoritarian effort to undermine a free press when we hear him brand legitimate news organizations as fake,” he continued.
“No, I don’t think that has anything to do with it,” Bolton responded. “Let’s be clear. Franklin Roosevelt met with Joseph Stalin at a time when activity in Russia was a lot worse than it is today. I’m not excusing present conduct but it didn’t seem to bother Franklin Roosevelt and liberal Democrats weren’t bothered at the time when he met with Stalin. So let’s try and have some historical perspective here and not act like we have the attention span of fruit flies.”
Bolton then added that he thought the question was silly.
President Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki.
Karl’s question comes on the heels of the most recent spat between the president and CNN. During Trump’s press conference with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, the president ignored CNN and labeled them as fake news. The White House then cancelled Bolton’s scheduled interview with CNN and he appeared on ABC instead. (RELATED: Sarah Sanders Explains Bolton Interview Cancellation: ‘A CNN Reporter Disrespected POTUS’)