For proof that politics makes for strange bedfellows, look no further than the warm and fuzzy long distance relationship between Republican juggernaut Donald Trump and Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. The two prominent political forces appear to have forged a mutual admiration society in the midst of America’s present election cycle, exchanging compliments and staying on point with assertions of mutual respect. Indeed, Donald Trump appears to have taken Putin’s public strokes to heart so much that he is willing to overlook some of the most serious allegations against his Kremlin contemporary.
As reported by Inquisitr, Vladimir Putin hailed Donald Trump as “bright and talented” during public comments earlier this week. Putin also described Trump as “the absolute leader” in the current presidential race. Asked to respond to Putin’s compliments on the Friday morning installment of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Donald Trump expressed appreciation for the Russian president’s sentiments.
“[W]hen people call you ‘brilliant’ it’s always good. Especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump said in comments transcribed by Business Insider for AOL News.
Joe Scarborough, a former Florida congressman and the host of Morning Joe, followed Trump’s statement by pointing out that Vladimir Putin is generally regarded as a rather threatening entity in the West. Scarborough cited allegations that the Russian president has sanctioned the assassination of political opponents and journalists and he also pointed out Russian military interventions ordered by Putin. For his part, Donald Trump was nonplussed by the host’s counterpoints.
“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”
Visibly taken aback by the implication that Trump condoned the aforementioned methods attributed to Putin, Scarborough again stressed that Putin is allegedly responsible for the murder of journalists who criticize the Kremlin, but Trump did not back down.
“I think our country does plenty of killing, also, Joe, so, you know,” Trump responded. “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.”
Bluntly asked by Scarborough if he condemned the murder of journalists, Trump ultimately agreed.
“Oh sure, absolutely,” Trump replied.
Other prominent Republicans do not share Donald Trump’s favorable view of Putin, though. CNN noted that 2008 Republican nominee John McCain – who was the subject of some particularly nasty criticism by Trump earlier this year – has described Trump and Putin as “a match made in heaven.” Mitt Romney, who won the GOP nomination in 2012, also weighed in on the controversy via social media, tweeting “Important distinction: thug Putin kills journalists and opponents; our presidents kill terrorists and enemy combatants.”
Well, prior to the present exchange of pleasantries between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Trump has confidently asserted that he would get along well with the Russian leader if he wins the presidential race. As noted by The Hill, The Donald spoke on his purported flair for international diplomacy during the second presidential debate, advising that he would be respected by Putin when representing the interests of the United States.
“I would talk to [Putin], I would get along with him. I believe — and I may be wrong, in which case I’d probably have to take a different path — but I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with.”
Speaking to CNN, Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen indicated that a congenial relationship between Vladimir Putin and Donald trump is not that farfetched, given the similarities between the two men. The author of the book Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin indicated that both men have carefully crafted public images that project toughness and strength. Indeed, Putin has taken to Russian media on a number of occasions to display his physical conditioning and prowess, sometimes donning athletic gear or even going shirtless. Donald Trump has engaged in his own wanton displays of bravado over the years, stepping into a WWE ring and bragging about his intimate relationships with supermodels.
But while Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are finding plenty of common ground as the campaign season unfolds, all bets are off in the event that The Donald ultimately takes the oath of office. With conflicting interests in the geopolitical arena that include the red-hot shooting war in Syria, the bromance between the two tough talkers could go up in smoke quickly, much like ashen coals beneath a grill full of sizzling Trump Steaks.
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