On Wednesday, Donald Trump angrily told reporters that he had no connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I have nothing to do with Putin,” he said. “I’ve never spoken to him. I don’t know anything about him other than he will respect me.”
But those comments contradict what he said in 2014, when he spoke at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. During this appearance, he discussed US-Russian relations and claimed that he had talked to Putin during a recent visit to Moscow, where Trump held his Miss Universe pageant. Here’s what Trump told the Press Club audience:
Russia does not respect our country any longer. They see we’ve been greatly weakened, both militarily and otherwise, and he certainly does not respect President Obama. So what I would do—as an example, I own Miss Universe, I was in Russia, I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer, and we had a tremendous success. The show was live from Moscow and we had tremendous success there and it was amazing, but to do well, you have to get the other side to respect you, and he does not respect our president, which is very sad.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Trump’s claim that he has spoken to Putin.
It’s not the first time that Trump has made contradictory claims about his relationship with Putin. During a Republican primary debate in November, Trump said, “I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes.” But it turned out that Trump and Putin were interviewed in separate locations. During his press conference on Wednesday, he claimed not to know anything about the Russian leader. “I never met Putin,” he said. “I don’t know who Putin is.”
Does Trump know Putin or doesn’t he? Have they spoken or haven’t they? Trump may want to get his story straight.