Vladimir Putin Basically Just Endorsed Donald Trump, Sending Shivers Down All Of Our Spines
The world came a little closer to ending on Thursday, when Russian President Vladimir Putin seemingly endorsed Donald Trump, calling the Republican presidential candidate "a very bright and talented person." The Russian leader, known for his machismo and merciless (and often autocratic) leadership, has never had an especially warm relationship with President Obama. But it appears that in the event that Trump is elected president and the country enters a new era of fascism and terror, Putin and the Donald will get along swimmingly. Perhaps that's because, if you really examine them side by side, they are frighteningly similar.
At an annual news conference in Moscow, Putin gave a glowing review of the real estate tycoon. According to a CNN report, Putin told reporters, "He is a bright and talented person without any doubt," and added that Trump is also "an outstanding and talented personality." Another report, from Reuters, translated his comments slightly differently, but they were no less gushy:
He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that ... He is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it.
According to Russia's TASS news agency, Putin told reporters that his priority was to strengthen ties between Russia and the United States:
In any case, whoever is [the new U.S. president], we are ready and want to develop our relations with the United States.
His comments come after Trump offered his own praise for the Russian president, calling the two "stablemates" on CBS's Face the Nation in October. Besides that weird comment, Trump also hinted at a new era of closeness between Russia and the United States — one that could never exist under the Obama administration — if he were elected:
I think that I would at the same time get along very well with him. He does not like Obama at all. He doesn't respect Obama at all. And I'm sure that Obama doesn't like him very much. But I think that I would probably get along with him very well. And I don't think you'd be having the kind of problems that you're having right now.
Perhaps, in a rare moment, Trump is right. Maybe they are "stablemates." (Shudder.) Here are six ways Trump and Putin are strikingly similar.
They Both Have Huge Egos
While it's pretty common knowledge by now that Trump is an arrogant narcissist, Putin is a little more subtle, but is still widely regarded as an egomaniac.
They Both Constantly Dump On Obama
Trump could write a dissertation called "Hating on Obama: A Multimedia Journey." He's ranted about the president on Twitter, in interviews, in his book, and at just about every opportunity he's afforded. Putin has also had a long history of criticizing our commander-in-chief. In 2013, Putin penned an op-ed in The New York Times in which he wrote:
I would rather disagree with a case [President Obama] made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is "what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional." It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.
They Both Make Sexist Comments
When Fox News' Megyn Kelly confronted Trump about calling women names, such as "fat pigs," "dogs," and "slobs," Trump fired back with more sexist comments. Putin made this notorious comment on Hillary Clinton last June:
It's better not to argue with women.
Trump Will Probably Rule With An Iron Fist, Just Like Putin
Putin has proven to be a modern autocrat, throwing detractors in jail and annexing parts of another country with gusto. Meanwhile, Trump has proposed equally terrifying and tyrannical policies, like tracking Muslim Americans and banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
They're Both Filthy Rich
They're Both Inexplicably Popular
Though he has become increasingly autocratic during his on-off 15-year rule of Russia, Putin is still overwhelmingly liked in his country. Last November, a poll showed that his approval rating was a staggering 85 percent. Trump has been consistently dominating the polls in the 2016 election cycle, and on Monday, Trump earned a record-setting 41 percent of Republican support in the latest Monmouth University poll. And that was after his proposed Muslim ban.