Romney knocks Trump over Putin support

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Trump slams 'rogue' Sasse after criticism of executive actions MORE on Friday slammed Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussia says coronavirus vaccine will be ready for doctors in two weeks Democrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling Fauci: 'I seriously doubt' Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective MORE with who GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE has expressed mutual respect.

"Important distinction: thug Putin kills journalists and opponents; our presidents kill terrorists and enemy combatants," tweeted Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

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His tweet came hours after Trump again expressed admiration for the Russian leader during a television interview, where he was pressed about Putin's efforts to silence political opponents and journalists. 
 
MSNBC co-host Joe Scarborough pointed out to Trump during the "Morning Joe" segment that Putin "is a person who kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries."
 
The host appeared taken aback by Trump, who brushed off the remarks and responded by stating that Putin is "running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in our country."
 
"Again, he kills journalists that don't agree with him," Scarborough, a former GOP lawmaker, reiterated.
 
"Well I think our country does plenty of killing also," Trump responded.
 
Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, has rebuked Trump before, including earlier this month when the celebrity Republican candidate announced his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.