In an exclusive interview with NBC News on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called former President Donald Trump a “colorful individual” 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 ahead of the Russian leader’s upcoming summit with Biden.
“Well, even now I think the former US president, Mr. Trump, is an extraordinarily individual, talented person, otherwise he would not have become US president,” Putin told NBC’s Keir Simmons during a wide-ranging and sometimes controversial interview. . “He̵
As for Biden, Putin said the current White House resident “differs radically from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent most of his adult life in politics.”
“It’s a different kind of person, and it’s my great hope that yes, there are some pros, some cons, but there will be no impulse-based movements on behalf of the incumbent US president.”
Trump has been criticized for having fun with Putin. After their only summit in July 2018 in Helsinki, Trump started shock waves after refusing to side with US intelligence agencies over Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, Biden has said on several occasions that he told Putin to his face that he did not “have a soul” during a visit to the Kremlin in 2011, when he was vice president.
But both men agree that Putin, who has been accused of ordering the assassination of political opponents, is a “killer.”
Asked empty-handed by Simmons during the 90-minute Kremlin interview whether he was a “killer,” Putin gave an evasive answer.
“During my time, I have become accustomed to attacks from all sorts of angles and from all sorts of areas under all sorts of pretexts and causes and of different caliber and hardness, and none of that surprises me,” Putin said, calling “murderer” branded “Hollywood-macho.”
Further pressure from Simmons, who by name mentioned some of the Putin opponents who have been killed in recent years, brushed off the Russian leader.
“Look, you know, I do not want to be rude, but it’s like some kind of indigestion, except it’s an oral indigestion. You’ve mentioned many individuals who actually suffered and died at different times for different of different individuals, “he said.
Putin also dismissed a “Washington” report as “nonsense” that Russia was preparing to offer Iran an advanced satellite system that would allow Tehran to track down military targets, including the remaining U.S. troops in Iraq.
“It’s just fake news,” he said. “At least I do not know anything about this kind of thing, those who talk about it will probably know more about it. It’s just rubbish, rubbish.”
Additional parts of the interview will be broadcast by NBC News on Monday “TODAY”, “Nightly News with Lester Holt” and on MSNBC.