Russian leader Vladimir Putin called President Joe Biden “radically different” from his predecessor during a wide-ranging exclusive interview with NBC News’ Keir Simmons.
During the 90-minute session, Putin described Biden, with whom he will meet face-to-face in an upcoming summit that aims to address the strained relations between the U.S. and Russia, as a career politician who “has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics.”
Putin also added this:
“That’s a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements, on behalf of the sitting U.S. president.”
He also lavished praise on former president Donald Trump.
Russian President Putin to NBC: “I believe that former U.S. President Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual … He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. But he didn't come from the U.S. establishment.” https://t.co/31rMe3Gqd4
— Vivian Salama (@vmsalama) June 11, 2021
The former president’s fawning over Putin was one of the most bewildering aspects of his presidency.
One of the lowest points of his four-year term came in Helsinki in 2018 at a press conference that can only be described as disastrous. That was when Trump stunned the world by taking Putin’s word over that of the American intelligence community that Russia never interfered in the 2016 elections. He not only refused to challenge Putin at all, but he condemned fellow Americans in Congress and the news media.
Today, Trump issued one of those strange statements he’s been putting out recently, and he doubled down on his support of Putin.
.@MaddowBlog: Fmr. President Trump reiterated that when it comes to whom he trusts, U.S. officials or Russian President Putin, the answer "should be obvious." It is obvious. That's the problem. https://t.co/QZusObEek0
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 11, 2021
At one point during the interview Simmons confronts Putin, a man accused of having his political enemies killed, and asks him if he is a killer. He dismissed it as hyperbole.
In interview with @KeirSimmons, President Putin denies ordering killings of critics, says he can work with President Biden. https://t.co/BFznmHqML5
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 11, 2021
When Simmons pressed further and mentioned some alleged victims by name, the Russian leader responded with some annoyance.
“Look, you know, I don’t want to come across as being rude, but this looks like some kind of indigestion except that it’s verbal indigestion. You’ve mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons, at the hands of different individuals.”