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Trump: Putin Is A Better Leader Than Obama

Posted: Sep 8, 2016 at 8:25 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “far more” of a leader than Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Wednesday, echoing previous praise for the Kremlin strongman.

Putin is “very much of a leader,” Trump said in a televised interview, where he and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were separately grilled over their national security and military credentials.

Trump has made no secret of his admiration for Putin, who last year praised the US businessman as “very outstanding.”

Putin “has very strong control over a country,” Trump said.

“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.”

Before Trump spoke, Clinton too was asked about her security smarts, but also faced questions on the sprawling email scandal that continues to overshadow her White House run.

The interviewer, NBC’s Matt Lauer, asked why it wasn’t “disqualifying” for Clinton to have handled government emails on a private server while secretary of state.

“It was a mistake to have a personal account. I would certainly not do it again. I make no excuses for it,” Clinton responded, stressing she had not improperly handled classified information.

The forum, held aboard historic aircraft carrier the USS Intrepid, docked off New York City, did not put the candidates head-to-head, and Lauer asked them not to waste time insulting each other.

For the most part they refrained, though Clinton said Trump had refused to take responsibility for his initial support for the Iraq War. Trump went on to attack Clinton over her emails.

The first debate between the one-time friends turned bitter rivals is scheduled for September 26.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump pledged to increase US military spending — already at levels far higher than any other nation — and to demand a plan to beat the Islamic State (IS) group if he becomes president.

The Republican presidential candidate told supporters he would ask generals to craft a roadmap to the IS group’s annihilation.

Trump also outlined proposals for an active army of around 540,000 troops, an air force of at least 1,200 fighter aircraft, a 36-battalion marine corps and a navy of 350 surface ships and submarines — though he provided no details on how he would persuade Congress to pay for it all.

Apart from consulting with top generals, Trump remained vague on how he would defeat IS.

“Is the plan you’ve been hiding this whole time asking someone else for their plan?” Lauer asked.

Trump said he didn’t “want to broadcast to the enemy what my plan is.”  (AFP)