(CNN)Republican Rep. Chris Collins suggested Monday that the media was responsible for President Donald Trump's controversial statements in which Trump seemed to draw moral equivalency between the US government and Vladimir Putin's regime in Russia.
Congressman blames media for Trump's incendiary remarks
"I think it's the aggressive press we have that does try to push President Trump into an area where maybe he will say something that they will then just jump on," said Collins. He had been asked by CNN's Alisyn Camerota why President Trump had made the comparison.
Camerota then asked if Trump's exchange with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly was a "gotcha" interview.
"I think there is a gotcha piece in every interview the press has more or less with President Trump ... he speaks off the cuff," Collins said. "There is no doubt about it. He speaks his mind."
Collins and Camerota were referring to remarks the President made in a Super Bowl interview with O'Reilly, in which he said he respected his Russian counterpart. "But he's a killer," O'Reilly told Trump.
"There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" the President fired back.
Despite suggesting the press often provoked the President into controversial statements, Collins also distanced himself from the language Trump had chosen, saying he "would not have used those words" himself.