His administration and staff embroiled in controversy regarding their Russian ties, Trump has repeatedly denied knowing Vladimir Putin.
However, Trump can be seen bragging about his relationship with Putin during a 2013 interview with MSNBC‘s Thomas Roberts.
Trump detailed his relationship with the Russian president during a Moscow interview where he explained why he moved his Miss Universe Pageant there despite the controversy surrounding Russia’s oppressive anti-gay laws.
Roberts can be heard asking him about Putin in the clip.
“Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin? A conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?,” he asked.
Trump responds: “I do have a relationship and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today He’s probably very interested in what you and I am saying today, and I’m sure he’s going to be seeing it in some form.”
Continuing, Trump stated that:
“I do have a relationship with him and I think it’s very interesting to see what’s happened. I mean – look – he’s done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he’s represented. If you look at what he’s done with Syria, if you look at what he’s done with so many of the different things, he has really eaten our president’s lunch. Let’s not kid ourselves, he’s done an amazing job. He’s put himself at the forefront of the world as a leader in a short period of time.”
Concluding his remarks about Putin, Trump states that Trump has shown “leadership” that neither Presidents Obama or Bush have “been able to match.
“Now in all fairness to Obama, I think he’s done the same thing with Bush – with President Bush. I think that Putin has done an amazing job of showing certain leadership that our people have not been able to match.”
You can watch the clip, below, courtesy of Shaun King, or you can go to MSNBC for the full interview.