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Trump: ‘Always Felt Fine About Putin,’ U.S. ‘Does Plenty of Killing Also,’ Maybe We Should Follow in Ukraine


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that he has “always felt fine about Putin” and that while he “absolutely” condemns Putin killing journalists and dissidents, ” “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader” and “our country does plenty of killing also,” further stating that instead of being “at the forefront of leading the charge” “maybe we should do a little bit of following” in Ukraine on Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Trump, when asked if he liked Putin’s comments about him, said, “Sure. When people call you brilliant it’s always good especially when the person heads up Russia.”

He was then asked about Putin’s killing of journalists and his political opponents and invasion of other countries would be “a concern.” Trump responded, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader. You know, unlike what we have in this country.”

After he was asked again about Putin killing journalists that disagree with him, Trump stated, “Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. So, you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe, a lot of killing going on, and a lot of stupidity, and that’s the way it is.”

Trump did add that he “absolutely” condemns Putin’s killing of journalists and political opponents.

When asked how US-Russia relations would change if he became president, Trump answered, “Well, I think it would be good. I’ve always felt fine about Putin. I think that he is a strong leader. he’s a powerful leader. he’s represented his country — that’s the way the country is being represented. He’s actually got popularity within his country. They respect him as a leader. certainly over the last couple of years they’ve respected him as the leader. I think he’s up in the 80s, which is — you see where Obama’s in the 30s, and low 40s, and he’s in the 80s.”

The discussion then turned to how Trump would push Putin’s forces out of Crimea and Ukraine, and prevent further western movement by Russia. Trump said, “when I look at the Ukraine, and I see Germany doing nothing, and I see so many other countries over there not really engaged, and we’re totally engaged, and I ask myself, here’s this big monstrous country, Germany, and they hardly speak up. They accept his oil and gas and lots of other things and here we are fighting like hell, and we owe 19 trillion in debt, and we have nothing but problems in this country, and we’re sitting on a big fat beautiful bubble that’s ready to explode, financial bubble, I’m talking about. And we’re always at the forefront of leading the charge. I think that other countries have to get involved with that, Joe. You have the Ukraine and it effects other countries a hell of a lot more than it effects us.”

He added that he would “consider” giving Poland a missile defense system, and “maybe we should do a little bit of following, and let the neighbors sort of tell us — like let us — let the neighbors take more of an active roll in the Ukraine, because I don’t see a lot of active roll from the neighbors around the Ukraine. I see us always saying get out of the Ukraine, and frankly, I would like to see a little enthusiasm from the people that are most directly effected, Joe.”

Trump further argued, “I don’t think it’s leading from behind. I think I want to see our country get rebuilt again. Our country is falling apart, frankly. Our infrastructure’s a disaster. our bridges are falling down. 61% of bridges are in danger. our whole country’s a mess.”

He was then asked about how he would pay for his plans to rebuild the military. Trump responded, “We’ve spent $5 trillion in the middle east, okay? If you add it all up, $5 trillion, probably close to 3 trillion in iraq. We have nothing.”

(h/t Mediaite)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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