NBC’s Matt Lauer, who moderated the event coined as a “Commander-in-Chief” forum, asked Donald Trump about some of the previous things he’s said about Russian strongman and former KGB officer Vladimir Putin. Trump praised Putin during the forum on Wednesday, pointing to what he argued is Putin’s “82% approval rating,” and said that he’ll continue to praise Putin, presumably no matter what he does, just as long as he continues to stroke Trump’s massive, yet extremely fragile ego.
MATT LAUER: “Let me ask you about some of the things you’ve said about Vladimir Putin. You’ve said, ‘I will tell you in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A, our president is not doing so well.’ And when referring to a comment that Putin made about you — I think he called you a brilliant leader — you said ‘It’s always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his country and beyond.'”
DONALD TRUMP: “Well he does have an 82% rating according to the different pollsters who, by the way, some of them are based right here.”
MATT LAUER: “He’s also a guy who’s annexed Crimea, invades Ukraine, supports Assad in Syria, supports Iran…He’s trying to undermine our influence in key regions of the world and according to our intelligence community probably is the main suspect for the hacking of the DNC computers.”
DONALD TRUMP: “Well, nobody knows that for a fact, but do you want me to start naming some of the things that President Obama does?”
MATT LAUER: “But do you want to be complimented by that former KGB officer?”
DONALD TRUMP: “Well, I think when he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment, okay? The fact is, look, it’s not going to get him anywhere. I’m a negotiator.
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Amazingly, Trump told Lauer that he would continue to praise the strongman and former KGB officer when Russia was the communist Soviet Union, as long as Putin complimented him, perhaps a symptom of what some people have speculated is Trump’s very serious and untreated case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Trump’s defense of Putin and the allegations that he was behind the DNC hack is also quite troubling.
“If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader.”