Trump heaps praise on Putin: He’s been a far more of a leader than Obama

Vladimir Putin is far more of a leader than Barack Obama, US presidential candidate Donald Trump has said. The Russian president has “very strong control over his country”, the Republican nominee told a TV interviewer. Quizzed by NBC host Matt Lauer on his previous complimentary remarks about Mr Putin, Mr Trump responded: “He does have an 82% approval rating.” He added: “It’s a very different system, and I don’t happen to like the system. But certainly in that system he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”

I think when he calls me brilliant I’ll take the compliment, OK?

Donald Trump

The comments came as Mr Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton were being quizzed on national security and military matters at a so-called Commander in Chief forum. They did not go head to head but appeared separately during the session on board the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in New York. Mr Trump shrugged off differences over Syria with Mr Putin and said, if he was elected in November: “I think that I’ll be able to get along with him.” During Mrs Clinton’s session, she defended herself over the private email server scandal which has dogged her campaign, saying it was mishandled but she should not be disqualified as a result.

It was a mistake to have a personal account. I would certainly not do it again. I make no excuses for it

Hillary Ciinton on the email server scandal