Controversial U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for Russian aircraft showing a "lack of respect" for America to be shot down "at a certain point," the Buzzfeed website reported Tuesday.
Trump made the comment in relation to recent reports that Russian planes had barrel-rolled over U.S. aircraft.
“Normally, [U.S. President Barack] Obama would call up [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and say, ‘Listen, do us a favor, don’t do that, get that maniac, just stop it.’ But we don’t have that kind of a president. He’s gonna be out playing golf or something,” Trump told Indiana radio host Charly Butcher on his show.
“At a certain point, you can’t take it. You have to do something that. You can’t do that. That’s called taunting. It should certainly start with diplomacy and it should start quickly with a phone call to Putin,” Trump said.
“And if that doesn’t work out, I don’t know, you know, at a certain point, when that sucker comes by you, you gotta shoot,” he continued. “You gotta shoot. I mean, you gotta shoot. And it’s a shame. It’s a shame. It’s a total lack of respect for our country and it’s a total lack of respect for Obama,” Trump said, Buzzfeed News reported.
The first report of Russian Su-27s barrel-rolling — when an aircraft pulls parallel to another aircraft, then turns 360 degrees over the other aircraft — over U.S. aircraft took place over the Baltic Sea on April 12.
A second incident, which also took place in international airspace in the Baltic region, was recorded on April 29.
While U.S. officials have complained that the maneuver was dangerous, Russia has maintained that there was no risk to the U.S. RC-135.
In December last year, Putin called Trump "the leader of the U.S. presidential race" and described him as a "bright and talented man," the RBC news agency reported.
Trump returned the compliment by calling Putin a better leader than U.S. President Barack Obama and giving him an "A" rating for leadership.
British-based research firm YouGov also found that Trump was the most popular U.S. presidential candidate among Russians back in April, with his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton supported by 10 percent of Russian voters.