Republicans seek distance from Trump's comments on Putin, US

Peskov was responding to O'Reilly's quip that "Putin's a killer" during an interview on February 5 with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump's comment ignited another firestorm of controversy and criticism, but it was O'Reilly's characterization of Putin as a "killer" that got the Russian government fuming.

"We would prefer to receive an apology to the Russian president from a respected TV station like that", Peskov said.

Bill O'Reilly responded tonight to the Kremlin demanding he apologize for calling Vladimir Putin a "killer".

Mr Trump was being questioned about President Putin's alleged links to the murders of reporters and dissidents when Mr O'Reilly remarked: "He's a killer though, Putin's a killer". I say it's better to get along with Russian Federation than not. "So I am working on that apology, but it make take a little time". Trump replied, "We've got a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?"

"I think we have to have an investigation by the FBI into his financial, personal and political connections to Russian Federation, and we want to see his tax returns, so we can have truth in the relationship between Putin, whom he admires, and Donald Trump".

Now the Kremlin expects an apology as well.

O'Reilly pressed him afterwards pointing out, "But he's a killer". He's a leader of his country.

"So Donald Trump is acting more statesman like in saying, "Look I'm not gonna call another foreign leader a murderer or a thug on global television" because that kinda makes it hard to work with him".

"I do respect him". Russian Federation is one the reasons people want Trump to release his tax returns, though he repeated in his tweet that he has no deals there.

It isn't the first time that Trump has shrugged off allegations that Putin may have ordered the death of his political opponents.

Representative Liz Cheney tweeted to say Trump's statement was "deeply troubling and wrong". "We have the same attitude towards both domestic - federal and regional - and global media".

  • Kyle Peterson