The US president has said he wants improved relations with Mr Putin, a former KGB agent who has been accused of ordering the deaths of opposition politicians, dissidents and journalists during his nearly two decades in power.
When Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly challenged Mr Trump in the interview, saying “Putin’s a killer”, the president replied: “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers . . . What, you think our country is so innocent?”