The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump: I’m Not Praising that Very Nice Strong Leader With High Poll Numbers!

There’s really not much point in looking for consistency in Donald Trump statements.

Chuck Todd: Why are you so comfortable praising Vladimir Putin?

Donald Trump: I’m not! I didn’t raise him, he praised me. He called me brilliant, he said very nice things about me.

Chuck Todd: You said he was a strong leader.

Donald Trump: Well, he is a strong leader! What am I gonna say, he’s a weak leader? He’s making mincemeat out of our president. He’s a strong leader. You would like me to call him a weak leader. He’s a strong leader, and I’m not gonna be politically correct. He’s got an 80 percent approval rating done by pollsters, from I understand this country, okay? So it’s not even done by his pollsters, he’s very popular within Russia!

(Can anyone imagine any reason why Russians might be reluctant to tell a stranger they disapprove of Putin?)

Donald Trump: Now that may change but I’m not – I didn’t say this in one way or the other. He came out with a very nice statement about me, and I said that’s very nice, I’m honored by it. And it would be very nice if we got along with Russia. Chuck, is that a bad thing? It’s a good thing. He cannot stand our president, he doesn’t like President Obama. I think it would be a positive thing if Russia and the United States actually got along and they could work to the mutual good of get rid of ISIS and things — I mean, right now, we don’t get along with them at all right now.

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