Trump calls Putin's comment that he prefers Biden over Trump a “great compliment”

Former President Donald Trump's response to Russian President Vladimir Putin saying he prefers President Joe Biden over Trump because Biden is “more experienced” and “more predictable” is a “great compliment.”

“Russian President Putin just gave me a great compliment, actually,” Trump said during a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday.

He continued: “He just said he would rather have Joe Biden as president than Trump.” “Now that's a compliment. A lot of people said, 'Oh, my God, that's too bad.' No, no, that's a good thing. And of course he would say that.”

Trump's latest comment comes on the heels of him recently saying at a previous rally in South Carolina that he was “encouraging” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to foreign allies of the United States who don't pay their dues. “fair share” of defense funding – leading to backlash from some critics.

Trump's latest comment came in response to Putin's comments during an interview with a Russian state TV correspondent, in which he said he believed Biden's re-election would be a better option for Russia's interests – although he added that he would work with any US leader. .

“Biden, he's more experienced, he's more predictable, he's an old-fashioned politician,” Putin said, according to an Associated Press translation of the interview. But we will work with any American leader whom the American people trust.”

At the North Charleston rally, Trump said Putin would certainly prefer Biden to win because he himself put an end to Russia's interests during his presidency, especially regarding the construction of Nord Stream 2, a controversial German-Russian pipeline, which would have transported gas. Natural from Russia to Europe.

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“I stopped Nord Stream 2, and [Biden] “I approved it right after I left, so Putin is actually not a fan of mine,” Trump said, referring to his role as president in halting construction of the pipeline by imposing sanctions on it, and Biden's subsequent waiver of sanctions on the pipeline. Which critics believe will give Russia energy dominance over Europe.

“He doesn’t want to be with me. He wants Biden because he will get everything he wants, including Ukraine.” “He will have his dream of getting Ukraine because of Biden… The only president in the last five who has not given Russia anything is the president known as Donald J. Trump.”

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly touted a good relationship with Putin, calling him “smart” and claiming that if he had been re-elected, the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia would not have happened.

But Trump recently came under some fire when he suggested he was “encouraging” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO allies who don't contribute their “fair share” to NATO — a comment from Trump's allies. He says it was a joke.

“A president of a great nation stood up and said, 'Well, sir, if we don't pay up and we get attacked by Russia, will you protect us?'” Trump said at a rally in South Carolina. “I told him, 'You haven't paid, you're in arrears… No, I'm not going to protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever they want.'

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At his rally in North Charleston on Wednesday, Trump emphasized the idea of ​​not protecting NATO allies who don't pay their “fair share,” but he stopped short of saying he would “embolden” Russia to attack them. .

“One of the country's presidents stood up and said, 'Does this mean that if we don't pay the bills, you won't protect us?' I said: This is exactly what he means. “I'm not going to protect you,” Trump said.

In response to Trump stepping up his NATO remarks at a North Charleston, South Carolina, rally, the Biden-Harris campaign said he gave Putin the best Valentine's Day gift: permission to “crush” America's allies.

“Donald Trump just gave Vladimir Putin the best Valentine's Day gift possible: his pinky promise to give Putin the green light to crush our allies in Europe if he's elected president.”

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