[Below the two links you will see the only words uttered by Trump in that interview referring to either Russia or Syria. He said nothing about “condemning Russia” or anything at all about “shooting old ladies.” According to the Brit report, all in attendance agreed that Trump could speak “OFF THE RECORD” on Syria, either the NYT Big Dogs flat-out lied about whatever Trump then said to them, or they lied to him, in order to obtain unsupportable confidential exchange w/Trump, to use against him later.]
[Trump condemns Russian military campaign in Syria and says Putin’s nuclear arsenal should be reduced]
“I mean when you see them shooting old ladies walking out of town — they can’t even walk and they’re shooting ’em — it almost looks like they’re shooting ’em for sport — ah no, that’s . . . a terrible situation.”
TRUMP: I don’t think we should be a nation builder. I think we’ve tried that. I happen to think that going into Iraq was perhaps … I mean you could say maybe we could have settled the civil war, O.K.? I think going into Iraq was one of the great mistakes in the history of our country. I think getting out of it — I think we got out of it wrong, then lots of bad things happened, including the formation of ISIS. We could have gotten out of it differently.
FRIEDMAN: NATO, Russia?
TRUMP: I think going in was a terrible, terrible mistake. Syria, we have to solve that problem because we are going to just keep fighting, fighting forever. I have a different view on Syria than everybody else. Well, not everybody else, but then a lot of people. I had to listen to [Senator] Lindsey Graham, who, give me a break. I had to listen to Lindsey Graham talk about, you know, attacking Syria and attacking, you know, and it’s like you’re now attacking Russia, you’re attacking Iran, you’re attacking. And what are we getting? We’re getting — and what are we getting? And I have some very definitive, I have some very strong ideas on Syria. I think what’s happened is a horrible, horrible thing. To look at the deaths, and I’m not just talking deaths on our side, which are horrible, but the deaths — I mean you look at these cities, Arthur, where they’re totally, they’re rubble, massive areas, and they say two people were injured. No, thousands of people have died. O.K. And I think it’s a shame. And ideally we can get — do something with Syria. I spoke to Putin, as you know, he called me, essentially …
UNKNOWN: How do you see that relationship?
TRUMP: Essentially everybody called me, all of the major leaders, and most of them I’ve spoken to.
FRIEDMAN: Will you have a reset with Russia?
TRUMP: I wouldn’t use that term after what happened, you know, previously. I think — I would love to be able to get along with Russia and I think they’d like to be able to get along with us. It’s in our mutual interest. And I don’t go in with any preconceived notion, but I will tell you, I would say — when they used to say, during the campaign, Donald Trump loves Putin, Putin loves Donald Trump, I said, huh, wouldn’t it be nice, I’d say this in front of thousands of people, wouldn’t it be nice to actually report what they said, wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with Russia, wouldn’t it be nice if we went after ISIS together, which is, by the way, aside from being dangerous, it’s very expensive, and ISIS shouldn’t have been even allowed to form, and the people will stand up and give me a massive hand. You know they thought it was bad that I was getting along with Putin or that I believe strongly if we can get along with Russia that’s a positive thing. It is a great thing that we can get along with not only Russia but that we get along with other countries.
JOSEPH KAHN, managing editor: On Syria, would you mind, you said you have a very strong idea about what to do with the Syria conflict, can you describe that for us?
TRUMP: I can only say this: We have to end that craziness that’s going on in Syria. One of the things that was told to me — can I say this off the record, or is everything on the record?
SULZBERGER: No, if you want to …
TRUMP: I don’t want to violate, I don’t want to violate a …
SULZBERGER: If you want to go off the record, we have agreed you can go off the record. Ladies and gentlemen, we are off the record for this moment.
[Trump speaks off the record.]