Ahead of an upcoming meeting with Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin told NBC News on Friday that the current president is “radically different” than his predecessor.
Why it matters: Trump faced accusations of cozying up to Putin while in office while Biden has pledged to take a hard-line approach against the Kremlin.
What he’s saying: “Well even now, I believe that former U.S. president Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become U.S. President,” Putin told NBC’s Keir Simmons.
- “He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. And, but he didn’t come from the U.S. establishment, he had not been part of big time politics before, and some like it some don’t like it but that is a fact.”
- Biden, on the other hand, knows how to play the game, Putin said. He “is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics.”
- “It is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements, on behalf of the sitting U.S. president,” Putin added.
Both Trump and Biden have called Putin a “killer” amid allegations of Putin’s assassination orders. Asked if he is indeed a “killer,” the Russian president hedged.
- “Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext, and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness and none of it surprises me,” Putin said, calling the accusation “Hollywood macho.”
- He bristled when Simmons named some Putin opponents who have been killed in recent years.
- “Look, you know, I don’t want to come across as being rude, but this looks like some kind of indigestion except that it’s verbal indigestion. You’ve mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons, at the hands of different individuals,” he said.