1707999143 Putin says he prefers Biden to Trump in the White

Putin says he prefers Biden to Trump in the White House

Putin says he prefers Biden to Trump in the Whiteplay

Foreign policy expert on risks if Trump encourages Russia to invade 'criminal' NATO members

Former President Donald Trump called on Russia to invade “criminal” states in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, worrying the head of the military alliance and allied countries.

He says he is more experienced. He is more predictable. He doesn't believe his age or mental capacity is a problem.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview on his country's state television on Wednesday that he would rather have Joe Biden, 81, in the White House than Donald Trump, 77, because the former is an “old school” politician.

They were Putin's first public comments on this year's US presidential election. Russia's leader often makes unreliable and contradictory statements that obscure and distort his positions and intentions in order to sow chaos.

Still, Putin's comments come amid growing tensions between Democrats and Republicans over the Biden administration's efforts to send more military aid to Ukraine as Moscow's invasion approaches the two-year mark.

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They also follow Trump's comments that he would “encourage” Russia to attack NATO members that do not meet the U.S.-led military alliance's financial contribution targets, set at 2% of a country's GDP.

US officials warned on Wednesday of a “serious national security threat” related to Russia's alleged attempts to deploy nuclear weapons in space. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday dismissed the suggestion as a political “trick” by the White House, but did not explain what he meant.

Putin: “Who hasn’t hit their head on something?”

In the state television interview, Putin said he was ultimately willing to “work with any U.S. leader who wins the trust of the American people.” But he said a Biden presidency would be better for Russia because the current U.S. leader “was a more experienced person, he's predictable, he's an old-school politician.”

Putin said that in his last meeting with Biden in Geneva in 2021, he did not notice anything unusual about his sharpness and that those who say Biden is unfit for office because of his age reflect a “vicious” US election campaign.

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According to Pew Research, Biden is not only the first octogenarian to serve in the Oval Office, his relative seniority puts him among the 5% of world leaders who are over 80. Concerns about his advancing age and mental fitness have dogged him. Polls have shown that the majority of Americans think he is too old for another term.

“Even then, people said he was incompetent, but I saw nothing like that,” Putin said. “Yes, he glanced at his notes from time to time, but to be honest, I glanced at mine too. So when he got out of the helicopter he hit his head – who hasn't hit their head on something?”

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Biden versus Trump versus Putin

Biden has long been a harsh critic of Putin, while the Russian leader appears to have watched Biden with suspicion over the decades they have interacted under successive U.S. administrations.

Even before Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Biden described Putin as a “murderer” without a soul, a reference to the scores of Putin opponents who died under suspicious circumstances, including poisoning.

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Biden has called Putin a “war criminal” because of his country’s actions in Ukraine.

Putin has repeatedly attacked Biden's support for Ukraine and more generally disparaged his administration for accusing Moscow of being behind cyberattacks on the U.S. and its allies; for his crackdown on pro-democracy protesters; and for claiming that Russia is a threat to the NATO military alliance.

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By contrast, the Russian leader praised Trump as “outstanding and talented” when he ran for president in 2016, and Trump has repeatedly said he got along well with Putin in the White House.

“Russian President Putin just paid me a huge compliment,” Trump said Wednesday at a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina.

“He just said he would rather have Joe Biden as president than Trump,” he continued.

“That is a compliment. A lot of people were like, 'Oh man, that's too bad.' No, no, that's a good thing. And of course he would say that.”