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Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

President Trump sat down with CBN's Pat Robertson for an interview that'll air on tomorrow's The 700 Club, but the network has released excerpts focused on last week's G20 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the United States' relationship with Russia. One big claim: Trump says Putin would have preferred if Hillary Clinton was president rather than him.

  • "[I]f Hillary had won, our military would be decimated. Our energy would be much more expensive. That's what Putin doesn't like about me. And that's why I say, why would he want me?"
  • p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 20.0px; font: 17.0px Arial; color: #282828; -webkit-text-stroke: #282828; background-color: #ffffff} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} "We're going to be exporting energy – he doesn't want that. He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills. He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia as you know relies very much on energy"

Worth noting: the U.S. intelligence community determined that Putin signed off on a plan to help Trump defeat Clinton.

Other highlights:

  • On Syria: "The ceasefire has held for four days. Those [previous] ceasefires haven't held at all. That's because President Putin and President Trump made the deal, and it's held."
  • His relationship with Putin: "People said, 'Oh they shouldn't get along.' Well, who are the people that are saying that? I think we get along very, very well. We are a tremendously powerful nuclear power, and so are they. It doesn't make sense not to have some kind of a relationship."
  • Could health care fail in the Senate? "Well, I don't even want to talk about it because I think it would be very bad. I will be very angry about it and a lot of people will be very upset. But I'm sitting waiting for that bill to come to my desk. I hope that they do it. They've been promising it for years."

Go deeper

Biden says he'll make Supreme Court pick by end of February

President Biden speaks on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday said he will announce the nominee for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's replacement by the end of February.

Driving the news: Biden also affirmed that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, saying "it's long overdue."

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

COVID created an epic U.S. trade gap

Chart: Axios Visuals. Data: Census Bureau/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The details of the blockbuster fourth quarter GDP report released Thursday morning tell a vivid story of how the underpinnings of the world economy have been reshaped by the pandemic.

One example: In the arithmetic around U.S. economic output, trade acted as a more severe drag last year than it has in a generation.