Donald Trump says Vladimir Putin isn’t his best friend—but that’s apparently not for lack of trying.
A Trump tweet from 2013 shot to the top of Twitter Wednesday night to become the most-retweeted post from the debate, according to social media marketing firm M Booth.
Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2013
Trump found himself denying he has a cozy relationship with Russia’s authoritarian president after Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton accused the Republican nominee of being a “puppet” of the Kremlin, which Clinton cited as the source of cyberattacks against Democratic Party entities and leaks to WikiLeaks.
Asked by Fox News host and debate moderator Chris Wallace whether he “condemns” Russia, Trump pushed back against the notion that he and Putin are “friends.”
“I never met Putin. This is not my best friend,” Trump said. “But if the United States got along with Russia, wouldn’t be so bad.”
Guess we can assume Putin skipped that Miss Universe Pageant—or did he?