During a Friday-morning interview with Donald Trump, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was baffled by the Republican front-runner’s embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Sure, when people call you ‘brilliant’ it’s always good. Especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump told co-host Mika Brzezinski, when asked about Putin praising him as “very talented” the day before.
Scarborough pointed to Putin’s status as a notorious strongman.
“Well, I mean, it’s also a person who kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries. Obviously that would be a concern, would it not?” Scarborough asked.
“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader,” Trump replied. “Unlike what we have in this country.”
“But again: He kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” Scarborough said.
The Republican presidential front-runner said there was “a lot of killing going on” around the world and then suggested that Scarborough had asked him a different question.
“I think our country does plenty of killing, also, Joe, so, you know,” Trump replied. “There’s a lot of stupidity going int he world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on. A lot of stupidity. And that’s the way it is. But you didn’t ask me [that] question, you asked me a different question. So that’s fine.”
Scarborough was left visibly stunned.
“I’m confused,” the MSNBC host said. “So I mean, you obviously condemn Vladimir Putin killing journalists and political opponents, right?”
“Oh sure, absolutely,” Trump said.
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