Putin: Trump "An Extraordinary Individual, Talented Individual," Biden Is A "Career Man" In Politics | Video | RealClearPolitics

Putin: Trump "An Extraordinary Individual, Talented Individual," Biden Is A "Career Man" In Politics

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Ahead of his summit with U.S. President Joe Biden next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to NBC News correspondent Keir Simmons, his first appearance on an American television network in three years. Putin called reports that Russia is offering to supply Iran with technology to attack the U.S. "fake news."

Putin called former President Donald Trump is an "extraordinary talented individual," and said that Biden is "radically different from Trump because Biden is a career man, he has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics."

"You once described President Trump as a bright person, talented, how would you describe President Biden?" Simmons asked the Russian leader.


"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 answered. "He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. 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."

"President Biden, of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man," the foreign leader said. "He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics … Just think of the number of years he spent in the Senate … That's a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages."

"There will not be any impulse based movements on behalf of the sitting U.S. president," Putin said of Biden.

When Putin was asked to respond to being called a "killer" by the late Sen. John McCain and former President Trump he would neither confirm nor deny he is one. Read the transcript:

KEIR SIMMONS: You once described President Trump as a bright person, talented, how would you describe President Biden?
 
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: 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. He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. 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. President Biden, of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics … Just think of the number of years he spent in the Senate … That's a different kind of person, and 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. 
 
KEIR SIMMONS: The late John McCain in Congress called you a killer. When President Trump was asked, was told that you are a killer. He didn't deny it. When President Biden was asked whether he believes you are a killer. He said, I do. Mr President, are you a killer? 
 
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: 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 … So, as far as harsh rhetoric, I think that this is an expression of overall U.S. culture. Of course, in Hollywood … there are some deep things in Hollywood. Macho behavior. Which can be treated as cinematic art but that is part of U.S. political culture where it's considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here.
 
KEIR SIMMONS: I don't think I heard you answer the question, the direct question, Mr. President. 
 
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: I did answer, I did answer. I will add if you let me. I've heard dozens of such accusations, especially during the period of some grave events during our counterterrorism efforts in North Caucasus. And, when that happens, I'm always guided by the interests of the Russian people and Russian state and sentiments in terms of who calls somebody what and what kind of labels. This is not something I worry about in the least.
 
KEIR SIMMONS: Let me give you some names. Anna Politkovskaya shot dead. Alexander Litvinenko poisoned by polonium. Sergei Magnitsky was allegedly beaten and died in prison. Boris Nemtsov shot moments from the Kremlin, moments from here. Mikhail Lesin died of blunt trauma in Washington, D.C. Are all of these a coincidence, Mr. President?
 
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: 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. You mentioned Lesin. Lesin used to work in my administration, I liked him very much. He died, he perished, or died in the United States. I regret to this day that he is not with us. In my opinion he is a very decent person. And, as far as the others, we found some of the criminals who committed those crimes, some are in prison, and we're prepared to continue to work in this mode.
 
KEIR SIMMONS (VOICE OVER): But, today, reports that Russia is offering to supply Iran with satellite technology that would help it target the U.S. military in the region, President Putin denying those claims. 
 
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: It's just fake news. At the very least, I don't know anything about this kind of thing, those who are speaking about it probably know more about it. It's just nonsense, garbage.
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