Boehner calls Putin a 'thug'

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election MORE (R-Ohio) on Thursday night called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “thug” he has no intention of meeting.

During an interview on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” Boehner called on President Obama to stand up to the Russian leader more forcefully.

"No,” Boehner said when asked if he ever met Putin.

“And I don’t want to meet him,” he continued. “No, listen, I think he is a thug. I think he has treated his neighbors in a disrespectful way, and frankly I think the president ought to stand up to him, and better protect Americans' interests and our allies in Eastern Europe.”

U.S.-Russian relations have been tested over the past year during a series of disputes involving intervention in Syria, missile defense, and Russia’s decision to grant amnesty to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

Boehner’s comments come ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

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