Is Trump right to praise Putin’s leadership abilities?

Donald Trump and his friends, the Clintons
Donald Trump and his friends, the Clintons

In my previous post, I took on a couple of the meltdowns that Trump had in the CBS News debate Saturday night. Let’s look at another one.

Let’s first see what Trump said in this article from the leftist CNN.


Donald Trump on Friday praised Vladimir Putin and appeared to defend the autocratic Russian president when pressed about his alleged killing of journalists and political opponents critical of his rule.

One day after Putin called Trump a “bright and talented” and the “absolute leader of the presidential race,” the Republican presidential front-runner returned the compliments, hailing Putin as a “leader” and pointing to his high favorability numbers in Russia.

“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump said when asked by “Morning Joe” Republican host Joe Scarborough about Putin’s alleged killing of journalists and political opponents.

“I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, a lot of killing, a lot of stupidity,” he said.

And from the leftist Washington Post:

On Sunday, Trump took the opportunity to defend himself. “Nobody has proven that he’s killed anyone. … He’s always denied it. It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody,” the American billionaire explained during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” He added: “You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country. It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.”

OK, so Trump thinks that Putin is a great leader.

Three points in response to that:

  • Putin kills people who criticize him in the Kremlin
  • Putin kills journalists who criticize him
  • Putin initiated a completely unprovoked invasion of peaceful Ukraine

Let’s look at them in order.

First point, from the leftist Washington Post.


Gaunt and frail, his organs succumbing to the cruelly destructive power of radioactive poisoning, Alexander Litvinenko lay in a London hospital bed in November 2006 and identified the man responsible for his impending demise: Vladimir Putin.

Nearly a decade later, an exhaustive inquiry by a British judge concluded on Thursday that the dying former KGB operative was probably right. For the first time, the Russian president was officially implicated in a murder that seemed plucked from the pages of a Cold War spy novel but actually played out in the bar of a posh hotel in 21st-century London.

The victim: an outspoken Kremlin critic who had defected to Britain, joined the payroll of British intelligence and accused Putin of vices­ including corruption and pedophilia. The killers: a pair of assassins who, the report found, were almost certainly acting on orders from the Russian spy service, the FSB, and who left a trail of radioactive evidence strewn across London. The weapons of choice: one teacup and one massive dose of a rare nuclear isotope, polonium.

Second point, from the Daily Caller.


A 2009 investigation by the International Federation of Journalists reported 96 killings of journalists between 1991 and 2009, by far the highest number among the 20 richest countries in the world.

Another rolling report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) collects data of journalists killed in each nation from 1992 on. Only cases where the motive has a clear correlation to the victim’s work as a journalist make the lists.

There have been 56 such cases in Russia since CPJ started collecting data, with 25 deaths after Putin took office in May 2000. This means the frequency of deaths went down significantly after Putin’s inauguration, with less deaths during Putin’s 15 years as president or prime minister, than in the previous eight combined.

Third point, from the Washington Free Beacon.


Russia has deployed as many as 10,000 troops in eastern Ukraine for more than a year and has actively sought to hide the deaths of its soldiers, according to a new report that provides a comprehensive assessment of the Kremlin’s invasion of its neighbor.

The report was published Thursday by the Interpreter, a daily online journal that translates Russian media and reports on Russian affairs, also detailed the Kremlin’s provision of increasingly sophisticated weaponry and vehicles to separatists in Ukraine. Nearly 8,000 people have been killed in the Ukrainian conflict since April 2014.

The conflict originated in March 2014 when unmarked Russian soldiers seized the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, an invasion that followed Ukraine’s ousting of a pro-Moscow leader. Despite denials from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time that the troops belonged to Russia, he later admitted that he deployed them.

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin escalated support to separatists in eastern Ukraine that resided in areas with a majority of ethnic Russians. Reserve officers in the Russian military, who also had ties to the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU, commanded the rebels in attacks. By June 2014, the Ukrainian military said that Russia had massed more than 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s border and deployed about 7,000 to 10,000 Russian soldiers inside Ukraine.

Aside from complete ignorance about anything related to the job of being President of the United States, Trump has two other qualities that worry me. First, his temperament during the debate – the unhinged screaming and calling people liar about things he said on video – is disturbing. Second, I have no doubt that Trump would go from praising Putin to attacking him for killing journalists, if Putin made the slightest criticism of Trump. Perhaps by mocking Trump’s short, stubby fingers.

Trump supporters in denial

I know 3 Trump supporters, and I’ve tried to speak to them about things like eminent domain, support for bank bailouts, single payer health care, touchback amnesty, Planned Parenthood support, support for Vladimir Putinadultery and divorce, support for the gay rights agenda, four bankruptcies, etc. Their response has been do deny the evidence. Trump never did those things, all the news articles are lies, and all the videos of Trump saying those things are fake. I expect better than that from Trump supporters. This time, the stakes are as high as they could be: 4-5 Supreme Court picks.  This is the ballgame for America.

2 thoughts on “Is Trump right to praise Putin’s leadership abilities?”

  1. There has always been people who stick their heads in a hole to avoid facing reality with true fact. They have to decide that trump is a good man and will not open their minds whenever something new is known. They believe what they want to believe.

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