Donald Trump raised eyebrows after he welcomed support from Vladimir Putin, saying: “I like that he said that”.
The former President made the remarks in an interview with NBC, after the Russian despot hailed Trump’s comments that he could end the “Ukrainian crisis”.
Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum last week, Putin said: “Mr Trump says he will resolve all burning issues within several days, including the Ukrainian crisis.
“We cannot help but feel happy about it.”
Trump smiled when he was asked about the comments in the new interview, taking them as vindication for his stance on the war.
Speaking to NBC’s Kristen Walker, he said: “I like that he said that. Because that means what I’m saying is right.”
Later, the host pushed the former President on what he would do to end the war in Ukraine, which he refused to answer directly.
Trump replied: “If I tell you exactly, I lose all my bargaining chips.”
“I mean, you can’t really say exactly what you’re going to do.
“But I would say certain things to Putin. I would say certain things to Zelensky.”
And when asked about claims Russian bombs had destroyed maternity wards, forces under Putin’s command deliberately attacking civilians, and about the President being issued an arrest warrant for the abduction of Ukrainian children, Trump simply said: “It’s all terrible.”
Putin has also backed Trump as the former President faces 91 criminal charges over four cases, saying it shows the “rottenness” of US politics.
During a Q&A session in Vladivostok, the Russian leader said: “Everything happening to Trump is political persecution of a political rival. That’s what it is.
“And this is happening before the eyes of the United States public and entire world.
“As for the persecution of Trump, I believe that everything happening at the moment is good.
“Because it demonstrates the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy.”
When Trump was President, he said he enjoyed a “very good” relationship with Putin.
Speaking in February at a Florida rally at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport, he claimed that “Putin never ever would have gone into Ukraine if I were President”.
It comes after Putin met with Kim Jong-un, where the leaders issued a grim warning to the West.
Speaking to reporters while sitting next to Putin, the North Korean dictator said Russia was “waging a sacred fight to defend its sovereignty”, as well as to protect its “security interests” and promote “justice against the hegemonists”.
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