“I really like Vladimir Putin. I respect him. He does his job well. Much better than our Bush,” was the 2008 praise from Trump printed in the Russian American magazine Seagull (Chayka).
Back in 2013, when Larry King had already made his own move to RT, Trump told him that Putin was doing, “A great job outsmarting our country.”
Jump ahead a few years and in September 2016, when asked about how he felt about Vladimir Putin, Trump reiterated that, “I’ve already said he is very much of a leader. The man has very strong control over his country. You can say, ‘Oh, isn’t that a terrible thing,’ I mean, the man has very strong control over his country.”
Trump also reveled in Putin’s post-election support, as Putin had said in December 2016, that Democrats should just, “Lose with dignity.”
That same month Trump received a letter from Putin that caused him to gush, “His thoughts are so correct.”
Before you start consulting their wedding registry at Williams Sonoma though, remember that Trump in general has been a fickle lover in the past, one that also crooned sweet nothings to Kim Jong-un in January 2016, and lovingly waxed nostalgic about the Communist Party of China’s handling of Tiananmen Square.
I.e. Putin could easily be just another Marla Maples.