GOP frontrunner Donald Trump dished it right back at liberal MSNBC host Joe Scarborough when questioned about Vladimir Putin‘s praise of the candidate. “At least he’s a leader,” Trump said.
The Russian leader raised a few eyebrows when he praised Trump during a press conference Thursday, calling him “unquestionably talented.”
The billionaire called in to Friday’s “Morning Joe” as co-host Mika Brzezinski asked if he liked Putin’s comments.
“Sure. When people call me brilliant, it’s always good,” Trump replied to laughs.
Scarborough turned serious, digging in to Putin, “Well, also it’s a person who kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries,” he said. “Obviously, that would be a concern, would it not?”
“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump fired back.
“Again, he kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” Scarborough pressed.
“Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so, you know,” Trump replied.
“There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe. Lot of killing going on, a lot of stupidity, and that’s the way it is,” said Trump. “But you didn’t ask me the question. You asked me a different question, so that’s fine.”
After the exchange, when directly asked if he condemns Putin killing journalists and political opponents, he agreed, “Absolutely.”
At least this time Scarborough let Trump answer the question without hanging up on him.
Watch the video below.