June 29, 2017
Vladimir Putin Denied Praising "Flamboyant" Donald Trump

Vladimir Putin - speaking of Donald Trump - found himself a victim of mistranslation when his words about the Republican presidential candidate were misunderstood as a praise. The Russian Prime Minister was, however, quick to correct the misunderstanding.

Denying that he had praised Donald Trump in any way, Putin explained that he had meant to say that the GOP candidate was just "flamboyant," rather than "brilliant," "outstanding," and "talented" as had been reported.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin downplayed his comments about Trump to CNN's Fareed Zakaria, citing translation problems.

Speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum -- according to the Daily Mail -- Putin charged Zakaria of twisting his words; he said, through his translator,

"You, personally, are very famous in our country. You're not only famous as a journalist at one of the biggest TV stations, but as an intellectual. Why do you always change the meaning of what I said?' [...]

Because at the moment you speak as a journalist, not as an analyst. Why are you juggling with what I said?"

The Russian Prime Minister continued, saying that he had not in fact praised Donald Trump as "brilliant," or "talented," but had meant to call him "colorful" or "flamboyant."

Putin used the word яркий or yarkii which, according to the Guardian,"can be translated with ambiguous connotations, from gaudy to striking to dazzling" – meaning colorful, bright or flamboyant, but not in an intellectual sense.

Of Donald Trump, Putin ended up saying, according to the Guardian:

"You see, it's like I said. Trump's a colorful [gaudy? striking? dazzling?] person. And well, isn't he colorful? Colorful. I didn't make any other kind of characterization about him."
Denying the charge that he praised Trump as intellectually"brilliant" or "talented," Putin did allow that the presidential candidate is "colorful" or flamboyant.

On the other hand, Vladimir Putin praised Donald Trump's foreign policy, approving of the latter's plans to restore American relations with Russia.

Putin told Zakaria that he was "paying close attention" to Trump's foreign policy, as reported by the Guardian,

"Mr Trump has declared that he's ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don't you?"
According to the Daily Mail, Putin also added that, "He [Trump] is the absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today."Donald Trump, for his part, accepted Vladimir Putin's praise of brilliance (which the Russian Prime Minister has now retracted) and even exaggerated it.

According to the Washington Post,"in a rally Thursday night, Trump cited [Putin's] comments as the reason he will not reject the Russian leader. "A guy calls me a genius and I'm going to renounce?" Trump said. "I'm not going to renounce him."

Not only did Trump take Putin's now-retracted praise of his brilliance and change it to "genius," but he also expressed a kind of alliance with Putin - that he will not "renounce" the Russian Prime Minister.

Trump continued his praise of Vladimir Putin in a presidential debate in March. According to the Washington Post, the GOP presumptive nominee said of the Russian leader,

"He has been a very strong leader for Russia [...] I think he has been a lot stronger than our leader, that I can tell you,"
This mutual praise between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has been dubbed by NBC News as a "budding bromance," but others are not so charitable.

Of Donald Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said it "makes everyone I talk to around the world nervous — and it makes me nervous as well," as reported by NewsMax.

Trump and Putin's relationship and mutual praise seems to be raising a variety of emotions, from ideas of "bromances" to nervousness around the global community.

[Photo by Sean Gallup/ Getty Images]