National Security

Trump Dodges on Whether He’s Met With Vladimir Putin: ‘I Don’t Want to Say’

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wouldn't say Wednesday whether he had ever met with or spoken to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked him about Russian fighter jets buzzing U.S. ships, the latest in a series of military provocations by Russia.

"Lack of respect," Trump said quickly.

"Lack of respect?" Blitzer asked. "If you were president, what would you tell Putin?"

"I would call him and say, ‘Don't do it again,'" he said. "I would say, ‘Don't do it again,' and I think I'll have a good relationship with him. So far, we're off to a good start. He said Trump is a genius, OK? I think I'll have a good relation—"

"Have you ever met with Putin? Have you ever spoken with him?" Blitzer asked.

"Uh, I don't want to say," Trump said. "But I think I'll have a good relationship with him. Now, I may not. I'll know pretty quickly, but I would call him and say, ‘Don't ever do it again. Don't ever do that again.'

He added it was "highly disrespectful to our military and to our country and to our president."

Putin and Trump have exchanged pleasantries through the media. Putin called Trump "bright and talented" late last year, and he responded on Morning Joe that Putin is a "leader" and the compliment meant a lot coming from someone who "heads up Russia." That statement even puzzled MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who pointed out Putin's authoritarianism and reported history of killing journalists.

Trump wrapped up the GOP nomination after scoring another rout in Tuesday's Indiana primary. His last remaining opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, suspended their campaigns over the past 24 hours, leaving him alone to clinch the nomination.