Forget President Obama’s “apology tour.” The deference Donald Trump shows to Vladimir Putin is astounding. It’s one thing for an incoming administration to be cautious take some time to assess a situation before making any grand statements. But Trump’s infatuation with Vladimir Putin is dangerous, and in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, Trump didn’t allay those concerns. In fact, he made it much worse.

The full interview will air on Super Bowl Sunday, but here is the relevant snippet:

Transcript of what was said:

Bill O’Reilly: Do you respect Putin?

President Trump: I do respect him but —

O’Reilly: Do you? Why?

Trump: Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.

O’Reilly: But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.

Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent?

Wow.

To get to the depth of absurdity by the President requires digging until one hits China. There isn’t enough space to get into the entirety of Putin’s track record of being a thug.

The exact numbers differ, but some research says 34 journalists have been murdered in Russia since Putin came to power in 2000. There is ample evidence to suggest Putin engaged in war crimes. There is also information that suggests Putin could be labeled a terrorist.

The last time I checked, American journalists were not being murdered after reporting on news and events unfavorable to the President, no matter who it is.

Trump attempting to lump in the United States with Vladimir Putin’s Russia is flat out pathetic.