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Donald Trump on Sunday argued that the United States should align with Russia and its client state Syria in the battle against ISIS, a position that puts him at odds with his own running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, who only last week said the U.S. should be prepared to pursue military action to stop the Syrian siege on the city of Aleppo.
"He and I haven't spoken and we disagree," Trump said of Pence at the second presidential debate.
Speaking at Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday night, Trump praised Russia and Syria for “killing ISIS” and defended himself against charges that he is cozy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
“I don't know Putin," Trump said. "I think it would be great if we get along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together," he continued.
Trump added later that he doesn’t “like” Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, but said, “I think we need to knock out ISIS. Right now Syria is fighting ISIS.”
Pence on Monday morning said he and Trump are "both right" and it was the debate moderator Martha Raddatz who was wrong.
"Donald Trump and I are focused on establishing and securing safe zones for the people of Syria to be able to escape and get out of harm’s way," the Indiana governor said on MSNBC.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Syria and Russia should face a war crimes investigation over the bombing of hospitals in Aleppo that killed dozens of Syrian civilians. Fighting in Aleppo has grown increasingly dire since a cease-fire deal brokered between the US and Russia fell apart last month.
Clinton said Sunday that Russia is propping Assad up against his own population — and that the bombing of Aleppo has little to do with taking on ISIS. “Russia hasn’t paid any attention to ISIS,” Clinton said. “They’re interested in keeping Assad in power.”
Clinton also pointed to a statement last week by U.S. intelligence agencies that blamed the Russian government for hacks of state election systems and the Democratic National Committee’s emails.
“We have never in the history of our country been in a situation where an adversary — a foreign power — is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election,” Clinton said. She added later that Russia wants American voters to elect Trump.
"Maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow," Clinton said.
“I don’t deal there,” Trump replied. “I have no business there, I have no loans from Russia.”