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Boehner calls Putin a 'thug'

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCan the GOP break its addiction to show biz? House conservatives plot to oust Liz Cheney Ex-Speaker Boehner after Capitol violence: 'The GOP must awaken' MORE (R-Ohio) on Thursday night called Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinMexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 Kremlin: US statements about pro-Navalny protests show 'direct support for the violation of the law' Urgent: Extend New START treaty with Russia now MORE 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.

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“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.

Read more from The Hill.