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Tony Abbott takes direct aim at President Trump’s meeting with ‘ruthless dictator’

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has taken aim at US President Donald Trump’s handling of talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Mr Trump has come under a firestorm of criticism for supporting Putin’s claims Russia didn’t meddle in the US election.

At the Helsinki Summit on Tuesday, the President cast doubt on US intelligence agencies, saying:

“He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

The American President has since backtracked, claiming a slip of the tongue was to blame.

Mr Abbott tells Ben Fordham the US President missed an opportunity to call out the Russian leader on his actions.

“My fundamental issue is that Vladimir Putin is a ruthless dictator, and when the leader of the free world meets with a ruthless dictator it shouldn’t be all smiles,” says the former PM.

“I’m not saying that he shouldn’t meet with Putin, because they’re the two biggest nuclear powers in the world… but let’s be under no misapprehensions about the nature of Putin and Putin’s Russia.”

It’s been four years since a Russian missile shot down a civilian flight MH17, killing 38 Australian citizens. The Member for Warringah says Russia still hasn’t seen “serious consequences” for the “atrocity”.

“Putin’s got blood on his hands.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview