President-elect Donald Trump has faced controversy for his friendly stance toward Russia, but it was less than three years ago he called it America's "biggest problem" and greatest international threat (video below).
During a March 2014 phone interview with Fox News show "Fox and Friends," Trump weighed in on the situation at the time between Russia and Crimea, as first reported by CNN.
In the interview clip, Trump voices his agreement with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who in 2012, called Russia the top "political foe" of the U.S.
"[Romney] said [Russia is] a hell of a problem, and everybody laughed at him, including certain media, by the way," Trump says. "They laughed. It turned out that he's absolutely right. You look at what Russia's doing with Iran, how they controlled the situation, and Syria, and virtually every other place."
In multiple interviews during the same month, Trump floated the idea of imposing sanctions against Russia.
"We should definitely do sanctions and we have to show some strengths," Trump told "Today" at the time. "I mean, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has eaten [President Barack] Obama's lunch, therefore our lunch, for a long period of time. I just hope that Obama, who's not looking too good, doesn't do something very foolish and very stupid to show his manhood."
As he prepares to assume the presidency, Trump faces allegations of having deep ties to Russia, while he and Putin are known to have a cordial relationship and have exchanged friendly words since Trump won the presidential election in November.
"I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able -- by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner -- to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas…" Putin wrote to Trump in a Dec. 15 letter, according to Salon.
But in March 2014, Trump was singing a different tune.
"There are a lot of things we could be doing economically to Russia," Trump says in a clip from a "Fox and Friends" interview at that time, before adding that Russia had "propped up" and taken over Syria, in part due to the U.S. offering "no leadership." "Russia is not strong economically and we could do a lot of different things to really do numbers on them if we wanted to."