In an exclusive interview with NBC News on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin labelled former President Donald Trump a “colourful personality” and suggested he can work with President Joe Biden.
“I believe that former US President Mr Trump is a remarkable guy, talented man, else he would not have been US president,” Putin said during a wide-ranging and at times confrontational conversation with NBC’s Keir Simmons. “He’s a colourful character.” You may or may not like him. But he didn’t come from the establishment in the United States. He had never been involved in big-time politics before, and some people like it, while others don’t, but it is a truth.”
Putin added that Biden “is drastically different from Trump since President Biden is a career guy.” He’s been involved in politics for almost his whole adult life.”
“That’s a different sort of person,” he added. “It’s my great hope that, while there may be some benefits and drawbacks, there will not be any impulse-based moves on behalf of the incumbent US president.”
Trump has been chastised for his tight relationship with Putin. After their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki in July 2018, Trump caused a stir by refusing to support US intelligence services over Putin’s denials of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, Biden has stated multiple times that on a visit to the Kremlin in 2011, when he was vice president, he told Putin to his face that he doesn’t “have a soul.”
Both men, however, believe that Putin, who has been accused of orchestrating political killings, is a “killer.”
“I’ve become accustomed to assaults from all sorts of angles and from all sorts of locations, on all sorts of pretexts and causes, and of varying calibre and fierceness, and none of it shocks me,” Putin added, referring to the “killer” moniker as “Hollywood macho.”
When pressed further by Simmons, who named some of Putin’s critics who have been assassinated in recent years, the Russian leader retorted angrily.
“Look, I’m not trying to be harsh, but this looks like indigestion, only it’s verbal indigestion.” “You’ve listed a number of people who have suffered and died at various times in history for various causes, at the hands of various people,” he continued.
Putin also dismissed a storey in the Washington Post that Russia was planning to sell Iran a sophisticated satellite system that would allow Tehran to follow military targets, including the remaining US forces in Iraq, as “nonsense.”
“It’s all bogus news,” he explained. “At the very least, I’m not familiar with this sort of thing.” Those who are discussing it are likely to be more knowledgeable about it. It’s just bullshit and nonsense.”
NBC News will air further segments of the interview on Monday on “TODAY” and “Nightly News with Lester Holt,” as well as on MSNBC.