Russian President Vladimir Putin heaped praise on Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, calling him “a bright and talented person,” “outstanding,” and announced that he’s “the absolute leader of the presidential race.”
Trump returned that praise saying it was a “great honor” to be complimented by “highly respected” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond,” the Republican frontrunner told supporters at a rally in Columbus, Ohio Friday morning.
On that issue, Joe Scarborough pressed Trump on Putin’s history as “a person who kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries.”
Trump responded by defending Putin. “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader. Unlike what he have in this country,” Think Progress reports.
Watch courtesy of Think Progress:
Scarborough again addressed the issue of Putin killing journalists, “But again: He kills journalists that don’t agree with him.”
Trump justified that by saying without clarification, “I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. There’s a lot of stupidity going on right now, Joe. A lot of killing and a lot of stupidity. And uh, that’s the way it is…”
Scarborough tried to help Trump out apparently, by weighing in for the Republican candidate, saying, “You obviously condemn Vladimir Putin killing journalists and political opponents, right?”
“Oh sure, absolutely,” Trump replied said.
Trump, who always touts poll numbers, concluded by citing Putin’s poll numbers, of course.
“He’s got popularity within his country. They respect him as a leader, certainly the last couple of years they’ve respected him as the leader. Obama’s in the low 30’s, upper 40’s and he’s in the 80’s,” he said.
As one commenter observed at Mediate, “Sure, Obama has lower approval numbers than Putin. That’s because, if you disapprove of Obama, he won’t kill you.”
Indeed, the lengthy list of journalists’ deaths in Russia is unnerving, or at least it should be to any American. Reporters have been restricted at events for Trump, so his love for Putin isn’t too surprising.
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