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    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the National Guard Association of the United States 138th General Conference and Exhibition in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., September 12, 2016.

    This is Why Democrats Attack Trump for His Comments on Putin

    © REUTERS / Mike Segar
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    Donald Trump has been lambasted for saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has been a leader far more than [Obama] has been," with critics of the flamboyant billionaire who currently trails Hillary Clinton by four percent using Trump's comments on Putin to portray him as "Russia's agent of influence," Vzglyad columnist Petr Akopov asserted.

    This issue is "becoming central in the anti-Trump propaganda much like Hillary Clinton's health will become the key argument to discredit the former first lady," the journalist observed. The Democrats "need to divert attention to other topics, but they have nothing on Trump that could shock the voters."

    This is why they have jumped at an opportunity to criticize the Republican nominee for his stance on Putin and Russia.

    Akopov recalled earlier comments made by Michael Morell, who served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation," the analyst said in early August.
    For her part, Clinton did not leave Trump's latest comments on Putin without a response.

    "Bizarrely, once again he praised Russia's strongman Vladimir Putin – even taking the astonishing step of suggesting that he prefers the Russian president to our American president," she said last week. "Now, that is not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country as well as to our commander-in-chief – it is scary."

    While Hillary Clinton was recovering from pneumonia, President Barack Obama mentioned the issue in a speech on Tuesday.

    "Just last week, [Trump] went on Russian state television to talk down our military and to curry favor with Vladimir Putin. He loves this guy," Obama said, while campaigning for Hillary. The US president also called the Russia leader "Donald Trump's role model."

    These remarks, according to Akopov, are meant to portray Trump as "incompetent, unintelligent and unrestrained." The US president, he added, is "in earnest trying to convince Americans that Trump wants to be like Putin. Does Barack Obama really believe that? Surely, not."

    Akopov maintained that it all boils down to what Trump has repeatedly said: the billionaire genuinely thinks that Putin is a strong leader, while Obama is not. He has mentioned this in public to attack Hillary Clinton, who, many say, will continue Obama's policies if she is elected in November. In addition, the Republican nominee appears to be intent on improving relations with Russia at a time when the bilateral relationship is at its lowest in decades.

    U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participates in a discussion in a classroom at New Hampshire Technical Institute while campaigning for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in Concord, New Hampshire, April 21, 2015
    © REUTERS / Lucas Jackson
    Obama's comments on Trump, the journalist added, do not help to court voters. "They are viewed as envy when it comes to Putin and false allegations with regard to Trump. … The fact that domestic political rhetoric is more important to the US president than real foreign policy is testament to what Trump had said: Obama is a weak leader who is not respected in the world."

    The issue has attracted so much attention that on Friday Trump gave a detailed explanation of his views when it comes to dealing with Russia and its president.

    "Well, look, I don't know him, and I know nothing about him, really. I just think if we got along with Russia, that's not a bad thing," he told Jimmy Fallon. "The Democrats try to say I like him somehow. I don't like him. I don't dislike him. I don't have any feelings one way or the other. And it's not going to matter what he says about me. If he says good things or bad things about me, I'm going to make great deals for our country."

    Trump also added that "they make it like he's my best friend, I don't know him."


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    US Presidential Campaign, presidential election, 2016 US Presidential election, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States, Russia
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