While Trump ultimately said the killing of journalists does matter, what might be seen or portrayed as a flippant coddling of or cozying up to Putin actually falls within Trump’s foreign policy views, which he showcased this week at the Republican debate in Las Vegas.
At his official end-of-the-year press conference, the Russian leader talked about everything from the Russian economy (he predicts growth next year and the year after that) and the recent close calls with Turkey in Syria (“The Turks made a decision to lick the Americans in a certain place.”) to ousted Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter (“He is the one who must be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize“).
Russian President Vladimir Putin may soon be joining Donald Trump on the Republican presidential ticket in the culmination of a highly-publicized exchange of mutual respect.
“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader”, Trump responded.
Joe Scarborough pressed Trump on Putin’s history as “a person who kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries”. So, you know – with a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe.
“But you didn’t ask me the question”, Trump explained apparently realizing what he had just insinuated. But you didn’t ask me the question, you asked me a different question. Absolutely.” And in the next response, “I’ve always felt fine about Putin.
And, of course, it’s nothing short of stunning to wave away the politically motivated murder of members of the media using some random false equivalency. “He’s a strong leader, he’s a powerful leader, he’s represented his country, and that’s the way the country is being represented”.
Putin said it wasn’t Russia’s role “to evaluate his accomplishments” or his campaign rhetoric, but said Trump “remains the absolute front-runner in the presidential race”.
Or like Putin, Trump might destroy a city and then rename the main street in that city after himself.
Trump and Putin, two men who have carefully crafted their public image over the last two decades, are both known for their blunt manner and bravado.
He also seems quite taken with Vladimir Putin’s style of leadership. “In general, we agree with it. I think the Syrian authorities will also agree with it when they look through the draft”.
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