During tonight’s debate, Donald Trump said that he doesn’t know Russian Federation dictator Vladimir Putin. But that’s not true- here’s a video of him saying the exact opposite.
Donald Trump admitted that he does in fact have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, in newly surfaced a 2013 video which asked very specifically about his relationship to the Russian strongman. The Republican nominee then said that he has a relationship with Putin – twice, and with emphasis – then proceeded to trash President Obama, while undeniably praising Russia’s President as “very brilliant” for his handling of Syria, and praising Putin’s leadership. Trump’s statement below does not appear on Mother Jones Magazine’s October 5th, comprehensive timeline of the Trumps in Russia.
The interview was conducted by Thomas Roberts of MSNBC in Russia in 2013 in an effort to promote the Miss Universe Pageant, which Trump owned at the time and was hosting in Moscow at Crocus City Hall. “Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin? A conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?”
The rest is a transcript of Donald Trump’s 57 seconds long answer author’s emphasis in italics:
“I do have a relationship.”
“Annnnd, Ahh-ee can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today. He’s probably very interested in what you and I are saying today, and he’s going to be seeing it in some form.”
“But I do have a relationship with him.”
“And, uh I think it’s very interesting to see what’s happened. I mean look. He’s done very brilliant job, in terms of what he represents, and who he’s representing.”
“If you look at what he’s done with Syria.”
“If you look at so many of the different things, he has really eaten our President’s lunch. Let’s not kid ourselves.”
“He’s done an amazing job. He’s put himself, really as a lot of people would really as a lot of people would say, he’s put himself in the forefront as a leader, in a very short period of time.”
“Now in all fairness to Obama, I think that he’s done the same thing with Bush, with President Bush.”
“I think that Putin has done an amazing job with showing leadership that our people have not been able to match.”
More supplemental material, including video of Donald Trump Jr. talking about his “many many trips” to Russia and more from the Democratic Coalition Against Trump‘s research is below this video:
Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on the price of oil, which was still high then and has plummeted since, sending Moscow into a sea of deficit spending that lasts to this day. In 2013 the price of oil was traded firmly in the $100 per barrel range, and it has plummeted 50% in recent years. Trump’s praise of Putin should be tempered with the knowledge that he runs a Russian petro-state.
We always knew that Donald Trump had a vodka brand – that failed – and it was in fact in Russia. We even accept the claim at face value, that the Trumps did tell the truth about selling some luxury real estate to Russian companies and buyers – not lightly, but it’s simply known in the real estate market that these buyers do exist. But the Trump family ties go far deeper than they’ve led us to believe, and there’s more video to prove it.
There has always been speculation about Trump’s ties to Russia stemming from one tweet in 2013 which is still on his timeline:
Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2013
Mother Jones unearthed this more explicit tweet in support of Putin’s Russian imperialism.
I believe Putin will continue to re-build the Russian Empire. He has zero respect for Obama or the U.S.!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2014
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition