Trump's oddPutinlovefest; since Donald Trump Entered the Race for the White House Last Year, He's Openly Expressed a Tolerance for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Often Has Complimented Him for His Leadership Style. [Derived Headline]

By Pavlich, Katie | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 15, 2016 | Go to article overview

Trump's oddPutinlovefest; since Donald Trump Entered the Race for the White House Last Year, He's Openly Expressed a Tolerance for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Often Has Complimented Him for His Leadership Style. [Derived Headline]


Pavlich, Katie, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Since Donald Trump entered the race for the White House last year, he's openly expressed a tolerance for Russian President Vladimir Putin and often has complimented him for his leadership style.

Recently, Trump took this argument to a new level when he claimed Putin is a better leader for his people than President Obama has been for the United States. In the past, Putin has called Trump a "bright" and "colorful" man.

"If (Putin) says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him," Trump said during NBC's Commander-in-Chief forum. "The man has very strong control over a country. Now, it's a very different system, and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly in that system, he's been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader."

Republicans should be cautious when jumping to Trump's defense in justification of this statement. Putin is a former KGB agent and longtime enemy of the United States. At the moment, Russian hackers employed by the government are attempting to sabotage U.S. elections and damage U.S. institutions through email leaks. This year alone, Russian jets repeatedly have harassed U.S. ships and spy planes at dangerously close range, in addition to emboldening U.S. enemies like Iran. Domestically, Putin's strongman, tyrannical behavior as president is anything but worthy of compliment.

His people are living in poverty, and his 82 percent approval rating isn't an accurate portrayal of how Russians feel about their president. Rather, it's a forced viewpoint for fear of consequence. After all, Putin "allegedly" has political opponents or critics killed. …

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