03:28 GMT +326 October 2016
    US President Barack Obama (R) listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin

    Trump Calls Putin ‘Very Strong Leader,’ Saying Obama Is Weaker

    © AFP 2016/ Jewel Samad
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    Donald Trump claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin a "very strong leader."

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US presidential candidate, billionaire Donald Trump, who is the frontrunner for the Republican party, called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "very strong leader."

    "I think Putin’s been a very strong leader for Russia, he’s been a lot stronger than our leader, that I can tell you," Trump said during a Thursday Republican presidential debate broadcast by CNN. "That doesn’t mean I’m endorsing Putin," he added.

    Earlier this month, Trump said during a presidential debate that it would be "nice" if relations between the United States and Russia could improve.

    Unlike most of his Republican rivals, who have criticized Russia for its actions in Ukraine and Syria, Trump said last September that he would "get along with" Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    US-Russia relations deteriorated in early 2014 largely due to Crimea's reunification with Russia and the escalation of the internal conflict in Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is not involved in the Ukrainian conflict, and that Western sanctions introduced against Russia as a punitive measure are counterproductive and hurt all sides involved.

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    Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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    • seanrkearney
      Both Trump and Putin are self made men and very successful. Its understandable they would get along.
    • Ivan Buckeye
      Yeah, and if Trump becomes president...he'll claim to be stronger than Putin. Wait and see.
    • Mikhas
      That´s not fair to the narcissistic and illiterate porch-chimp at the White House .

      Obongo could easily compete with other degenerated *ss clowns in the western fascist regimes. Putin is in a totally different league, but even there, the once-in-a-century-born Russian statesman, is on his own.
    • Lambrecht Albert van Marionin reply toMikhas(Show commentHide comment)
      Mikhas, refrain from writing garbage
    • Glamoureus
      Maybe the pure fact Trump had a Slavic wife and knows more because of that more about Eastern Europe then most Americans?
    • kasivasantha
      Any country PM or PRES who takes the challenge of improving the living standards of its citizen and bolstering the safety of the country is a GOOD leader by general terms.Any leader who thinks that they are destined to govern this world is NOT a leader.
    • Selectric Typeball
      ["That doesn’t mean I’m endorsing Putin," he (Trump) added.]

      Yes it does!!! Many Trump supporters endorse David Duke, the KKK, and Vladimir Putin. One guy I know cast a write-in vote for David Duke for president, for the past 20 years, who finally voted for Trump this time. Trump just doesn't want to deal with the media backlash, that openly endorsing and supporting Putin would bring at the current time.
    • Reginald Frackenwhip Spaulding
      1st of all
    • Reginald Frackenwhip Spauldingin reply toReginald Frackenwhip Spaulding(Show commentHide comment)
      Reginald Frackenwhip Spaulding, ...[CONT'D.] The USK (United States of Khazarica) caused "the escalation of the internal conflict in Ukraine" vis a vis Ms. Nudelman and her goddamn cookies. Secondly, the Crimea VOTED like at 97% to rejoin Russia - it's called a 'referendum'...many, many Americans REJECT the AIPAC propaganda that emanates from D.C.'s sphincter masquerading as 'news' and 'analysis'...
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