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Trump Wants To Meet With Putin Before Taking Office

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Oct. 17 that he wants to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin before his presidency begins, if he wins the election.

Putin came up when conservative radio host Michael Savage asked Trump how he was going to avoid war with Russia, notes Politico.

Trump began his answer by criticizing U.S. leaders for their criticism of the Russian strongman, who has a long history of violating human rights:

They insult [Putin] constantly, no wonder he can't stand Obama and Hillary Clinton. I will say this, If I win on Nov. 8, and hopefully everyone of your listeners is going to go out, we're gonna need everybody. Republicans have a tougher path, you know that. If I win on Nov. 8, I could see myself meeting with Putin and meeting with Russia prior to the start of the administration. I think it would be wonderful.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) released reports in 2013 describing Russia's human rights abuses under Putin, noted The Telegraph.

The HRW report said: "The Russian government has unleashed a crackdown on civil society unprecedented in the country's post-Soviet history. The authorities have introduced a series of restrictive laws, harassed, intimidated and in several [cases] imprisoned political activists, interfered in the work of NGOs and sought to cast government critics as clandestine enemies."

During his interview with Savage, Trump reportedly said the nuclear capacity of Russia is "so far ahead" of the U.S.

According to estimates by Arms Control Association, as of August, Russia has 7,300 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. is at 7,100.

However, many of those weapons are retired, bringing the number of estimated stockpiled warheads to 4,571 for the U.S., and 4,500 for Russia.

The Russian government has an estimated 1,735 deployed nuclear warheads (at aircraft bases), while the U.S. is at 1,481.

Regardless of any of these estimations, Russia and the U.S. could destroy the planet many times over, which brings into question the logic of a winnable nuclear war.

Sources: Politico, The Telegraph, Arms Control Association / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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