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Putin praises Trump as 'talented,' says liberalism has 'become obsolete'

Putin praises Trump as 'talented,' says liberalism has 'become obsolete'
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Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinScarborough says he'll never return to Republican Party after GOP supported Trump Will Biden choose a values-based or transactional foreign policy? Russian vessel threatens to ram US warship in disputed waters in Sea of Japan MORE in a new interview praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE as a "talented" person, saying that despite not being a career politician Trump knew how to relate to voters. 

“Mr. Trump is not a career politician," Putin told The Financial Times. "I do not accept many of his methods when it comes to addressing problems. But do you know what I think? I think that he is a talented person. He knows very well what his voters expect from him.”

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The comments from Putin came in an interview with The Financial Times ahead of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Osaka, Japan — an event where the Russian president is expected to meet with Trump. The newspaper noted that Putin was polite when discussing Trump, despite being critical of the United States as a whole. Putin reportedly referred to Trump as "Donald" several times in the interview. 

He also praised Trump's initiative to enforce stricter immigration policies along the U.S.-Mexico border while arguing that the "liberal idea" had "outlived its purpose."

“This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected," he said. “Every crime must have its punishment. The liberal idea has become obsolete."

Putin also weighed in on former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's report, dismissing conclusions by the U.S. intelligence community that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. 

“Russia has been accused, and, strange as it may seem, it is still being accused … of alleged interference in the U.S. election," he said. "What happened in reality? Mr. Trump looked into his opponents’ attitude to him and saw changes in American society, and he took advantage of this."

Mueller's report found that Russia engaged in an effort to interfere in the presidential election. It did not find sufficient evidence to conclude a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow took place. 

Trump and Putin's meeting at the G-20 summit later this week will mark the first time the leaders have met face-to-face since Mueller's report was released. Trump would not commit to confronting Putin about election interference during an interview with NBC on Sunday. 

He told reporters Wednesday that he expects to "have a very good conversation with him," adding, "what I say to him is none of your business."