Speaking to CBS, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that Trump "was doing it as a favor to his friend Larry King."
"He said he was doing it for his podcast, didn't know it would be on Russian-owned TV," Conway said on CBS today.
In the RT interview, Trump downplayed reports that Russia may be trying to influence the general election, pointing a finger instead at Democrats for continuing that narrative.
"I don't know," he said. "I've been hearing about it. I've been reading about it. I think it's probably unlikely."
A Week Full of Putin Praise
"I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin and I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia," Trump said Wednesday.
"When he calls me brilliant, I'll take the compliment," he said at MSNBC/NBC's Commander-in-Chief forum.
"If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him. I already said he is really very much of a leader ... The man has very strong control over a country," Trump said.
"He's been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader," he said.
Far From Russia's First Appearance
Beyond that, Trump has repeatedly said that it would "be great" for the U.S. and Russia to have strong relations, which he believes he would be capable of achieving if elected.
"Putin said some very good things about me," Trump said at a rally in Ohio on Aug. 1. "People say, 'Oh, Trump's going to be weak with Putin because Putin is saying nice things about me.' OK, all right. And I said he's a strong guy. They immediately say, 'Oh, Trump likes Putin.' Look, I don't like or dislike. I just say this way, wouldn't it be great if the United States and Russia got along, combined, knocked out ISIS, maybe did other positive things?"
ABC News' David Caplan contributed to this report.