As Russia continues to fight ISIS and Vladimir Putin blatantly defies President Barack Obama, the Russian president’s name has become a common appearance in headlines. And while it isn’t surprising that he decided to comment on Donald Trump’s campaign, nobody expected to hear such lavish praise:
“He is a bright and talented person without any doubt,” said Putin of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
He is “an outstanding and talented personality” and the “absolute leader of the presidential race.”
Trump responded to Putin’s praise in front of an Ohio audience, saying, “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond. I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”
I can’t help but think back to the first Republican presidential debate this year during which Trump claimed he would “get along with” Putin and other world leaders. Seems it wasn’t a bluff.
“I think it’s great,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night. “I think that’s what should be happening. His dislike for Presdient Obama – and it’s a mutual thing – is terrible. That’s why you see all the conflict, all the problems, all the hatred…If we can’t work with Russia, that’s not a good thing. And I’m greatly honored by his statement. I think it’s terrific.”
Trump refused to take the bait Friday morning when MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough tried to trick him into saying something negative about the Russian president: Putin is “a person who kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries. Obviously that would be a concern, would it not?” asked Scarborough.
“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader,” replied Trump. “Unlike what we have in this country…There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on. A lot of stupidity. And that’s the way it is. But you didn’t ask me [that] question, you asked me a different question. So that’s fine.”