Donald Trump, current Republican presidential nominee, has praised Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on numerous occasions throughout his campaign. Likewise, Vladimir Putin shows his support towards Trump as he moves forward in his presidential race. Putin is favoring Trump in this year’s election because of his previous relations with Hillary Clinton. If Trump wins, the United States will have a president on good terms with Russia as Trump voices he will treat Putin “firmly” yet the two countries will be “friendly.” In the past, Putin and Clinton have shared “tough dealings” with each other, she stated in a democratic debate. She also shared that her relationship with Putin is “interesting” and she warns that “he is someone that you have to continually stand up to.” Putin on the other side, states that “if it’s Hillary Clinton, it’s war” and voices that Trump is “the absolute leader in the presidential race.”
Before politics, Putin possessed a career in the KGB which was the main security agency for the Soviet Union. Putin started as an intelligence officer and retired with a rank of lieutenant. After the fall of communism, Putin became involved in jobs such as political advisement, external relations, and head of the Federal Security Service (a branch of former KGB). After being appointed acting president, Putin won the election in 2000 and has been Prime Minister or President of Russia for 16 consecutive years. In between his second and third term, Putin was Prime Minister. Putin’s time in office has a direct correlation to his level of experience in politics. Likewise, this is Trump’s first time running for any political office, so he has a clear lack of experience in this area. Putin has been inside the ring of politics for 16 years, while Trump remains just outside.
A key idea to keep in mind when delving into the relationship of Putin and Trump is media inflation. There are many articles and statements circulating of “Trump’s Putin crush” and Hillary Clinton also called the two so-called lovers “the most famous bromance going.” In 2014, Trump bragged twice about meeting with Putin, getting to know him very well when they were on ‘60 Minutes’ together, and receiving a gift with a note from Putin when he was in Moscow for a Miss Universe competition. In fact, Putin did give Trump a gift and note, however he shifts from referring to him and Putin as “stablemates”, to never meeting or let alone talking on the phone. Trump notes that Putin “said one nice thing about [him]. He said [Trump is] bright. [Trump] said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it.” Trump clearly states that “[he] never met Putin.” In this case, the bright Putin was talking about translates in English to a colorful bright, not an intelligent one, as Trump so often claims.
On multiple occasions, Trump has praised Putin and his leadership of Russia and continues to do so. Dating back to 2007, Trump told CNN that Putin is “doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period.” Again in 2011, in Time to Get Tough by Donald Trump, he states that he “respect[s] Putin and Russians, but cannot believe our leader (Obama) allows them to get away with so much,” as well as saying “hats off to the Russians. ” In 2013, Trump also told Larry King that Putin has “done a really great job of outsmarting our country.” Also, on multiple occasions, Trump has called Putin a great leader. In his own words “far more” of a leader than Obama. Recently, during the Democratic National Convention, Trump said “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” and later said that he would “like to have them released.” The Russians seemed to satisfy his wants.