Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Sunday blasted Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE's comments praising Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinEx-Trump national security adviser says US leaders 'making it easy for Putin' to meddle The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Putin calls on UN to strengthen World Health Organization MORE.

Trump said on MSNBC's Morning Joe this month that he was pleased that Putin had praised him and that Putin was a "strong leader."

"There are so many thing that are wrong with that statement on so many different levels," McFaul said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "First of all, Vladimir Putin does only things that are in Russia’s national interest. So for him to be endorsing Mr. Trump, that’s because he thinks it’s in Russia’s national interest for Mr. Trump to be the leader of the United States."

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But McFaul took the most umbrage as Trump's comments, in response to a question about the Putin government's targeting of journalists, that "our country does plenty of killing also."

"The part I found most reprehensible when responding to that question on Morning Joe was the moral equivalency between what the United State does abroad and what Putin does domestically," McFaul said. "Trump basically said that what soldiers in Afghanistan are doing and what pilots in Syria are doing is the same thing as those who kill journalists in Russia. That is not in America’s national interest."

Putin said this month that Trump, who leads the race for the Republican presidential nomination, was "a bright and talented person without any doubt."

McFaul served as ambassador to Russia between January 2012 and February 2014 as the relationship between the two countries became increasingly difficult during the conflict in Ukraine.