In an exclusive interview with NBC News on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called former President Donald Trump a “colorful man” and said he could work with President Joe Biden.
Putin compared the two presidents at a time when relations between Russia and the United States are at a historically low level and the upcoming summit of the Russian leader with Biden.
“Well, even now, I believe that the former president of the United States, Mr. Trump, is an extraordinary man, a talented man, otherwise he would not have become president of the United States,” Putin told Cyrus Simmons during a wide-ranging and sometimes controversial interview. “He̵
As for Biden, Putin said the current occupant of the White House “is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a man of his career. He has spent most of his adulthood in politics.”
“This is a different type of person and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will be no impulse-based movements on behalf of the incumbent president of the United States.”
Trump has been criticized for courting Putin. After their only summit in July 2018 in Helsinki, Trump caused shock waves after refusing to join US intelligence agencies because of Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Biden, meanwhile, has repeatedly said he told Putin in person that he had no “soul” during a visit to the Kremlin in 2011 when he was vice president.
Both agreed that Putin, who is accused of ordering the assassination of political opponents, was a “murderer.”
Asked by Simmons during a 90-minute interview in the Kremlin if he was a “killer”, Putin gave an evasive answer.
“During my term, I got used to attacks from all angles and from all kinds of pretexts and causes and of different calibers and rages, and none of that surprises me,” Putin said, calling the label “killer” “Hollywood macho.”
Pressed further by Simmons, who mentioned by name some of Putin’s opponents killed in recent years, the Russian leader bristled.
“Look, you know, I don’t want to run into rudeness, but it looks like some kind of indigestion, except it’s verbal indigestion. You mentioned a lot of people who really suffered and died at different times for different reasons at the hands of different faces, “he said.
Putin also dismissed as “nonsense” a Washington Post report that Russia was preparing to offer Iran an advanced satellite system that would allow Tehran to track military targets, including other US troops in Iraq.
“This is just fake news,” he said. “At least I don’t know anything about that kind of thing, those who talk about it might know more about it. It’s just nonsense, rubbish.”
Additional parts of the interview will be broadcast by NBC News on Monday on “TODAY”, “Night News with Leicester Holt” and on MSNBC.