Vladimir Putin showers the “bright and talented” Donald Trump with praise

Putin at his annual press conference.
Putin at his annual press conference.
Image: Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev
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Russian president Vladimir Putin told the state-run news agency Interfax on Thursday (Dec. 17) that GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump is “a very bright character, talented, without any question. It’s not our business to assess his qualities, that’s a matter for American voters, but he’s the absolute leader in the presidential race.”

“He says he wants to move to a new level of relations, fuller, deeper relations with Russia; could we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it,” added Putin. He speaking after his annual marathon press conference, where he repeated a call for embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter to receive a Nobel prize. Putin also suggested, after Turkey downed a Russian plane last month, that the Turks had ”decided to lick the Americans in a certain place”.

In addition to the obvious charms of provoking the United States, where Trump leads among the GOP but is widely reviled by the general public, Putin may have been reciprocating after similarly glowing comments from Trump.

“I think that I would at the same time get along very well with him. He does not like Obama at all. He doesn’t respect Obama at all. And I’m sure that Obama doesn’t like him very much,” Trump told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But I think that I would probably get along with him very well. And I don’t think you’d be having the kind of problems that you’re having right now.”

“And as far as him attacking ISIS, I’m all for it,” Trump added. “If he wants to be bombing the hell out of ISIS, which he’s starting to do, if he wants to be bombing ISIS, let him bomb them… Let him bomb them. I think we probably work together much more so than right now.”