On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Joe Biden a political “career man” who likes to posture as “macho,” while also saying former President Donald Trump was an “extraordinary individual.”

Putin made his remarks to NBC News, the first American news organization the Russian leader has granted an interview to in three years.

Putin is scheduled to meet with President Biden on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Putin: Trump ‘Didn’t Come From The U.S. Establishment’

NBC News interviewer Keir Simmons asked Putin to compare his relationship with Biden versus Donald Trump. 

Putin responded, “Well even now, I believe that former US President Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, a talented individual, otherwise he would not have become US President.”

“He is a colorful individual,” Putin said. “You may like him or not.”

“And, but he didn’t come from the U.S. establishment,” Putin said in his description of Trump.

Putin added, “He had not been part of big time politics before, and some like it some don’t like it but that is a fact.”

Putin: ‘President Biden Is A Career Man’

Then he gave his opinion of Biden.

“President Biden, of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man,” Putin said. “He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics.”

“That’s a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any knee-jerk reactions on behalf of the sitting US president that we will be able to comply with certain rules of engagement, certain rules of communications and will be able to find points of contact and common points,” the Russian leader added.

NBC’s Simmons tried reminded Putin that Biden claims to have called him soulless to his face a decade ago. 

Putin replied, “I do not remember any inappropriate elements of behavior on the part of my counterparts. I don’t think that anything like that has happened.”

Putin added, “Perhaps he did say something, but I do not remember.”

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Putin also denied Russian involvement in the spate of cyberattacks against major American industries in the last few months.

When Simmons brought up allegations of the Russian government using cyberattacks or repressing domestic political opponents, Putin claimed the interviewer was not letting him speak.

“If you muster patience and let me finish saying what I mean to say, everything will be clear to you,” Putin told NBC News. “But you are not liking my answer.”

Putin continued, “You don’t want my answer to be heard by your audience. That is the problem.”

“You are shutting me down,” Putin said, avoiding the criticisms.

“Is that a free expression?” he added.

 

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