Donald Trump deflected questions Friday morning about his kindred spirit Vladimir Putin’s alleged policy of killing journalists and political opponents. On Thursday, the Russian president praised the GOP frontrunner as “brilliant” and “talented,” prompting Trump to respond that it was an “honor” to be complimented by someone so “respected” around the world. On Friday, MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts asked Trump if he still appreciates the praise in face of Putin’s violent policies.
“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader,” Trump said, leaving the hosts stunned.
“But again, he kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” Joe Scarborough pressed.
“I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe,” Trump replied. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on and a lot of stupidity and that’s the way it is.”
When asked to directly condemn Putin disappearing journalists with whom he disagrees, however, Trump relented, saying, “Sure.”