June 12

By Joshua Zitser

Russian President Vladimir Putin heaped praise on former President Trump in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Friday.

“Well even now, I believe that former US president Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise, he would not have become US president,” Putin told NBC’s Keir Simmons.

He noted that Trump is a controversial figure, and added that he is more of a political outsider than President Joe Biden.

“He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. But he didn’t come from the US 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,” the Russian president added.

Putin called Biden a “career man” who “has spent virtually his entire adulthood” in politics. Biden, 78, was first elected to the US Senate in 1972, aged 30.

Putin told NBC News that there were pros and cons to Biden’s presidency.

“There are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements on behalf of the sitting US president,” he told NBC News.

The US-Russian relationship has soured in recent months. Putin told NBC News that it is at its “lowest point in recent years.”

Biden and Putin are officially scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16.

The two world leaders will “discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship,” according to a White House statement.

On Thursday, Trump asked Biden to give Putin his “warmest regards.”

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