According to Business Insider, former President Donald Trump proudly boasted about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a rally in South Carolina. Addressing his MAGA supporters in Pickens, Trump shared Putin’s supposed compliment, stating, “As Putin said, ‘You are the most vicious president ever.’ There’s never been a president that did this to me. And yet I got along with him. Isn’t that nice?”
Throughout his presidency, Trump displayed a friendly disposition towards Putin and showed reluctance in criticizing Russia over allegations of interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Despite imposing sanctions on Russia during his administration, Trump continued to praise Putin, describing him as “smart” and a “genius.” Even as Putin initiated an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Trump baselessly claimed that such an act would not have occurred if he were still president.
Trump has often shown admiration for world leaders perceived as strongmen or dictators, including Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, despite accusations of their authoritarian practices. However, it is worth noting that while Trump has praised his relationship with Putin, other Washington insiders have suggested otherwise.
Fiona Hill, a former top Russia advisor on the National Security Council under Trump, has implied that Putin often grew frustrated with Trump’s lack of understanding on important issues. These statements indicate that while Trump may have celebrated his rapport with Putin, there may have been underlying tensions and differences in their interactions.