While most American’s would shy away from praise handed out by Russian leaders, controversial U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is lapping up the praise he received from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Yesterday Putin described Trump as an “unquestionably talented” and “a very outstanding man” to which Trump has replied by saying it is a “great honor” to receive the compliments, hailing Putin as a man “highly respected within his own country and beyond”.
One political observer described the mutual admiration relationship between Putin and Trump, who have not even met each other, as a “long-distance bromance”.
On hearing about Putin’s praise, Trump immediately released a statement which read, “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”
Trumps republican party rivals have made no secret of their wariness of Putin, while Trump has not been afraid to sing Putin’s praises, especially his image as a “strong leader”. During one of the recent televised presidential debates Trump said “If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS [the Islamic State group], I am all for it, 100%, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it.”
Alexander Baunov, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center, says “I suppose Putin sympathises with Trump without knowing him well in person but he is following him closely, what he does and says, just because he is not a kind of usual Western politician.”
One of Trump’s presidential bid rivals Jeb Bush has used Twitter to take a hit at Trumps love fest with Putin.
“A true freedom-loving conservative wouldn’t be flattered by praise from a despot like Putin,” writes Bush.
It will be interesting to see if middle America, which has always been fiercely anti-Russia, responds to Trump’s Russian fling.