Claim: President Donald Trump claimed that the United States might not be as innocent as we would like to think in terms of killing people.
Fox News aired an interview between Bill O’Reilly and President Donald Trump before the Super Bowl on February 5th. In a segment about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump made the claim that the United States might not be as innocent as we would like to believe.
Trump: Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.
O’Reilly: But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.
Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?
O’Reilly: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.
Trump: Well — take a look at what we’ve done too. We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.
O’Reilly: But mistakes are different than —
Trump: A lot of mistakes, but a lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me.
One thing to note is that Trump is essentially committing a tu quoque logical fallacy by stating that the leaders in the United States are no different than Putin. His statement is that the argument “Putin’s a killer” is not valid because the leaders of the United States are no better. Often the use of a tu quoque fallacy is to create a red herring and to distract.
As for Trump’s claim that the United States is not so innocent, that is subjective. Based on our history over the last few decades and especially with the war in Iraq that he used to support his claim, one can make an argument that the United States has been operating immorally. As to whether or not these mistakes are equivalent to the actions taken by Putin is a debatable matter.
Update 3/10/207: Updated article to be consistent with finalized standards