In a news conference yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Donald Trump “a bright and talented person” and “the absolute leader of the presidential race.” Trump loved this, obviously. Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he declared, “When people call you brilliant it’s always good. Especially when the person heads up Russia.” Trump then proceeded to ham-handedly defend his new buddy Putin against accusations that he kills journalists.

When host Joe Scarborough pointed out to Trump that Putin “kills journalists and political opponents” and “invades countries,” Trump countered this way: “He’s running this country, and at least he’s a leader. You know, unlike what we have in this country.”

Trump continued, “I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. There’s a lot of stupidity going on right now, Joe. A lot of killing and a lot of stupidity. And uh, that’s the way it is...”

At the end of the discussion, Scarborough gave Trump one last chance to say something not insane. “You obviously condemn Vladimir Putin killing journalists and political opponents, right?”

“Oh sure,” Trump responded, as if someone were asking him whether or not he likes baseball. “Absolutely.”

Remember when people said that Trump criticizing John McCain would be the end of his campaign? That was months ago.

[Ht Think Progress]

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