PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP has dismissed as ‘unfounded’ the idea that he is under threat from Russia.
In a speech at a meeting of the US National Security Council on Tuesday, Mr Trump made the comment after he said the intelligence community believed he was under threat.
“We have a very clear view that our nation and our country’s security are at risk.
I’m not worried about it,” he said.”
And I don’t think you’d be either,” he added.”
I’m not the kind of guy that wants to be the person who has to be scared of everybody,” Mr Trump said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said the Kremlin “regrets” Mr Trump’s comments, which he made in a televised address.
“The President made a comment about our relationship with Russia, which we regret,” Dmitry Peskov said.
Russia has said the US is not prepared to face down Moscow.
Mr Trump has also warned of “a military strike” against Russia, saying it would be a “big mistake”.
“I don’t see how you’re going to negotiate that down,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press on Monday.
“You’ll have to go to war.”
The US is currently engaged in a military exercise in the region, which it said would not affect its ability to protect its allies and allies of the West, which is under increasing pressure from Moscow.
The White House said the President’s comments were not intended to suggest he had ordered military action.
“What he’s saying is, if Russia decides to go nuclear, and he doesn’t like that, then he’s got the right to do what he wants with it,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
But a spokesman for the Pentagon said it would not be “appropriate” for the President to order an attack.
“As the President said, this exercise is not focused on any military threat.
It’s about training exercises, building interoperability and working with allies and partners in the Pacific region to improve the US and our ability to defend ourselves,” Pentagon spokesman Major Kevin Downing said in a statement.”
This exercise is focused on working with our allies and partner nations to ensure that they’re prepared to confront any potential future Russian aggression.”
The meeting comes as the US prepares to host Chinese President Xi Jinping for a summit in Florida.
Mr Peskov denied that Mr Trump had made a threat to Mr Xi, telling Russia Today that the US president “is not a threat” to the Chinese leader.
“If you think it’s a threat, you’ve never heard anything about him,” Mr Peskov told the Russian state broadcaster RT.