14:14 GMT25 October 2020
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    Ahead of the much-hyped meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Donald Trump pointed out that even though he has met his Russian counterpart a couple of times, he does not know him. For the very special occasion, Sputnik has selected a string of comments that the two heads of states have made about each other.

     ‘Colorful & Talented’ Trump Thinks He Will ‘Get Along’ With Putin

    After Trump announced his presidential bid in October 2015, he told reporters that he thought he’d “get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

    Speaking with journalists after his annual televised press conference, the Russian president said that Trump was “a very colorful person, talented, without any doubt” and “absolutely the leader in the presidential race.”

    It didn’t take the Republican candidate long to respond to the flattering comment.

    “I think that he’s [Putin] a strong leader, he’s a powerful leader. When people call you brilliant it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia,” he told MSNBC.

    The front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination also repeatedly claimed that Putin had called him a “genius,” which he thought was really “nice.”

    “Wouldn’t it be good if we actually got along with countries, wouldn’t it be a positive thing? Do we always have to fight?” he said during a campaign event in South Carolina.

    Mutual Hopes to Revive Ties, ‘Tremendous’ Meeting at G20

    After Trump took office, the two had their first face-to-face encounter on the sidelines of the G20 in Germany in July 2017. Following the summit, President Putin said that he thought “personal relations” with Trump “were established.”

    “The Trump that you see on TV is very different than the real Trump… There is every reason to believe that we will be able to at least partially re-establish the level of cooperation that we need. I very much hope [for an improvement in relations] and it seems to me that some basis for this has already been created," Putin said.

    The newly-elected US president, for his part, praised the meeting with his Russian counterpart as “tremendous.”

    Here’s a Message to All the Russia Haters from DJ Trump

    Tweeting straight from the APEC summit in Vietnam, Trump struck back at all the “haters and fools” who just couldn’t embrace the fact that having a strong relationship with Russia was good.

    Trump was said to have brief conversations with Putin on the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, purportedly discussing the Syria crisis and the election meddling allegations.

    The US president also said that he trusted Putin when he denied interference in the vote and said the two had “a very strong feeling for each other, a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well.”

    In a symmetrically amicable move, the Russian president described Trump as a “well-mannered and friendly” person.

    Trump is a ‘Serious-Minded’ Person

    In an interview with Russian television, Putin said that Trump is a “serious-minded person who knows how to listen to people and respond to their arguments” amid reports that Moscow and Washington were planning a high-level meeting between the two leaders.

    READ MORE: Trump Says He Might Ask Putin to Extradite 12 Russians Indicted in Russia Probe

    Days after Putin’s comments, President Trump reiterated that he wanted Russia to be reinstated to G7, including in his June interview with Fox News.

    "You know, we [G7 members] spend probably 25 percent of our time talking about Russia and I said wouldn’t it be better if they were here," he said.

    ‘Competitors’ Rather Than Enemies

    Earlier this week, Trump once again said that he doesn't know Putin well enough to call him a friend, but at the same time he dismissed the word “enemies.”

    “Someone said ‘is he an enemy?’ No, he’s not my enemy. Is he your friend? No, I don’t know him well enough, but the couple of times I’ve gotten to meet him we got on very well. But ultimately he’s a competitor. He’s representing Russia, I’m representing the United States,” Trump added. “Hopefully someday he’ll be a friend, I just don’t know.”

    Let’s Get Along

    In a fresh interview with Piers Morgan onboard Air Force One during his first state visit to the UK, Trump was asked if President Putin was a “ruthless” person.

    “I can’t tell you that, I assume he probably is. But I could name others also. Look, if we can get along with Russia that’s a good thing. I don’t know him. I met him a couple of times, I met him at the G20… I think we could probably get along very well.”

    The two presidents are set to meet in the capital of Finland, Helsinki, on July 16 for their first full-fledged summit.

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