Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed in an interview on state television that he would prefer the ‘more predictable’ Joe Biden winning the upcoming U.S. presidential election compared to Donald Trump.
Putin made the remark after being asked by an interviewer about who between Biden and the Republican frontrunner for the nomination would be a better choice from Russia’s point of view.
‘Biden, he’s more experienced, more predictable, he’s a politician of the old formation,’ Putin responded. ‘But we will work with any U.S. leader whom the American people trust.’
Trump, speaking at a rally last night in South Carolina, called Putin’s words a ‘great compliment.’
‘President Putin of Russia has just given me a great compliment, actually. He’s just said that he would much rather have Joe Biden as president than Trump,’ Trump told the crowd in North Charleston. ‘Now, that’s a compliment. A lot of people said, ‘oh, gee, that’s too bad.’ No, no, that’s a good thing.’
Putin also commented on Biden’s mental state following the release of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report last week calling him a ‘sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.’
‘When I met with Biden in Switzerland — true, that was several years, three years ago — people were already saying he wasn’t up to it. I didn’t see anything of the kind,’ Putin said, according to Reuters.
The news agency quoted Putin as saying that Trump ‘has been called a non-systemic politician; he has his own view on the topic of how the United States should develop relations with its allies.’
Asked about Trump’s statement on Saturday in which he said he once warned he would allow Russia to do whatever it wants to NATO member nations that are ‘delinquent’ in devoting 2% of their gross domestic product to defense, Putin responded that it’s up to the U.S. to determine its role in the alliance.
Trump’s statement sharply contrasted with Biden’s pledge ‘to defend every inch of NATO territory,’ as the alliance commits all members to do in case of attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.