Russian President Vladimir Putin this week sat down for an interview with a US media outlet for the first time in nearly three years. NBC’s Keir Simmons talked to Putin for about 90 minutes, and released a teaser segment Friday night.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the conversation centered on the Russian leader’s perspective on American politics and his personal thoughts and comparison of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Putin called the former president “extraordinary” and “talented” while noting that Biden is “radically different” and is a quintessential “career man” in politics.
“Well even now, I believe that former U.S. president Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become U.S. President,” Putin told Simmons.
“He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. And, 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.”
In contrast, he said of President Biden:
“…President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics,” Putin said in part.
“That’s a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements, on behalf of the sitting U.S. president.”
Also interesting is Putin’s response to the March George Stephanopoulos interview with Biden wherein the US President dubbed Putin a “killer” with “no soul”. Putin responded in this new NBC clip:
“Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext, and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness and none of it surprises me.”
Putin called the “killer” label “Hollywood macho.”
Putin also took aim at a recent Washington Post report over Russia-Iranian military relations and the transfer of advanced satellite systems. “It’s just fake news,” Putin dismissed. “At the very least, I don’t know anything about this kind of thing. Those who are speaking about it probably will maybe know more about it. It’s just nonsense, garbage.”
NBC is set to release the full interview footage on Monday, just ahead of Biden and Putin’s much anticipated June 16 meeting in Geneva. Both sides have said they don’t expect any “breakthroughs” in Geneva.