Donald Trump on Vladimir Putin

Quotes by Donald Trump on His Relationship with Vladimir Putin


2007 - Feb 13, 2016
Feb 17, 2016 - 2020

Trump Relationship Putin Then
Trump Relationship Putin Now

#DonaldTrump 4/12/14: "We just left Moscow. ❲Putin❳ could not have been nicer. He was so nice and so everything." » #Trump 7/31/16: "I wouldn’t know ❲Putin❳ from Adam." Click To Tweet

Quotes by Donald Trump on His Relationship with Vladimir Putin


2007 - Feb 13, 2016

Trump Relationship Putin Then
“Dear President Putin: Congratulations on being named Time magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ — you definitely deserve it. As you probably heard, I am a big fan of yours! Take care of yourself. With best wishes, Sincerely, Donald J. Trump”
- Dec 19, 2007

Trump Organization (via Senate Intelligence Committee report 'Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election Volume 5: Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities'), Dec 19, 2007
Personal Correspondence

(retrieved 8/18/20)
Trump Big Fan of Putin
“Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?”
“Dear Mr. President…

“I want to take this opportunity to personally invite you to be my guest of honor at the Miss Universe Pageant] in Moscow on November 9th. I know you will have a great time. With best wishes…

- June 26, 2013

“I am not angry at Russia (or China) because their leaders are far smarter than ours. We need real leadership, and fast, before it is too late.”
“Putin’s letter is a masterpiece for Russia and a disaster for the U.S. He is lecturing to our President.Never has our Country looked to [sic] weak”
“I thought [Putin’s New York Times OpEd] was amazingly well crafted. I’ve read it a number of times. There are a lot of different ideas in there…

“I think it makes Putin look extremely diplomatic. And you know, they talk all about his dogmatic ways and his toughness, but it actually makes him sound very reasoned and very reasoning...

“And certainly, it’s getting play all over the world. And it really makes him look like a great leader, frankly. And when he criticizes the president for using the term ‘American exceptionalism,’ if you’re in Russia, you don’t want to hear that America is exceptional.”
- Sept 12, 2013

Fox News, Sept 12, 2013
Trump: 'Embarrassing' how Putin has 'played' Obama

(retrieved 8/31/20)

“We have a president who’s been out played by Putin to an extent that nobody has ever seen and we look very bad as a country and certainly he’s looking very bad…

“The editorial Putin wrote in The New York Times was amazing. It was just amazing. He said so much and he said it in a very nice way, but it wasn’t really nice at all. It was tough, about as tough as you get. Obama is having a very, very hard time competing…

“You think of the term [‘American exceptionalism‘] as being fine, but all of sudden you say, what if you’re in Germany or Japan or any one of 100 different countries? You’re not going to like that term. It’s very insulting and Putin really put it to him about that.”
- Sept 13, 2013

“I think [Putin has] done really a great job of outsmarting our country.”
- Oct 3, 2013

'Larry King Live' interview

CNN (via NBC News), Aug 2, 2016
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: Timeline of a Bad Bromance

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“[Putin is] a tough guy, I met him once.”
- Oct 17, 2013

The Late Show with David Letterman, Oct. 17, 2013
Donald Trump on David Letterman 17 October, 2013

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 14:47

“I know for a fact that [Putin] wants very much to come [to the Miss Universe pageant], but we’ll have to see. We haven’t heard yet, but we have invited him.”
- Oct 18, 2013

“I do have a relationship with [Putin], and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today, and I’m sure he’s going to be seeing it in some form. But I do have a relationship with him.

“Look, he’s done a very good job in terms of what he represents and who he’s representing. If you look at what he’s done with Syria, if you look at 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… I think that Putin has done an amazing job of showing certain leadership that our people have not been able to match.”
- Nov 9, 2013

Us Magazine, Jan 11, 2017
Donald Trump in Resurfaced 2013 Interview: ‘I Do Have a Relationship’ With Vladimir Putin

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 0:43

“When I went to Russia… [Putin] contacted me and was so nice and I mean, the Russian people were so fantastic to us.”
- Feb 10, 2014

Fox and Friends interview

Fox News (via Internet Archive), Feb. 10, 2014
Fox and Friends February 10, 2014

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“Putin even sent me a present, beautiful present, with a beautiful note. I spoke to all of his people.”
- March 6, 2014

The New Yorker, Feb. 26, 2018
Trump Boasted In 2014 Of Receiving Gift From Putin And Meeting His Advisers

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at beginning

“Wow, Putin is really taking advantage of President Obama.”
President Obama was able to fool the Americans by getting elected, but not able to fool Vladimir Putin.”
“Putin has become a big hero in Russia with an all time high popularity.”
“I believe Putin will continue to re-build the Russian Empire. He has zero respect for Obama or the U.S.!”

“[Putin has] done an amazing job of taking the mantle. And he’s taken it away from the president, and you look at what he’s doing. And so smart. When you see the riots in a country [Ukraine] because they’re hurting the Russians, okay, ‘We’ll go and take it over.’ And he really goes step by step by step, and you have to give him a lot of credit.

“Interestingly, I own the Miss Universe pageant We just left Moscow. He could not have been nicer. He was so nice and so everything. But you have to give him credit that what he’s doing for that country in terms of their world prestige is very strong.”
- April 12, 2014

Fox News interview, April 12, 2014

Buzzfeed News, Aug. 1, 2016
Trump Called Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine 'So Smart' In 2014

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 0:23

“America is at a great disadvantage. Putin is ex-KGB, Obama is a community organizer. Unfair.”
“I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer, and we had a tremendous success.”
- May 27, 2014

National Press Club, May 27, 2014
NPC Luncheon with Donald Trump, chairman and president of the Trump Organization

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 48:26

“I had the Miss Universe contest over in Moscow recently, six months ago, and Putin, by the way, treated us unbelievably well.”
- June 20, 2014

American Spectator (via, June 20, 2014
A Trump Card

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“Just a year ago, we had the Miss Universe contest in Moscow… [I received] a gift from Putin – an award and a beautiful letter… the relationship is great.”
- March 18, 2015
“Yes [I have had contact with Putin]… I was [in Moscow] two years ago… I got to meet all of the leaders. I got to meet all – I mean, everybody was there.”
- June 18, 2015
“I know Putin, and I’ll tell you what, we get along with Putin.”
- July 13, 2015

Washington Post, July 16, 2018
Timeline: The odd overlap of Maria Butina, the gun-rights movement and the 2016 election

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 1:09

“I will get along — I think — with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable — stable world… I believe that I will get along — we will do — between that, Ukraine, all of the other problems, we won’t have the kind of problems that our country has right now with Russia and many other nations.”
- Sept 16, 2015

Washington Post, Sept 16, 2015
Wednesday’s GOP debate transcript, annotated

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“Why [was 60 minutes] harder on me than Putin? I would say because Putin is a nicer person than I am.”
- Sept 28, 2015

Talking Points Memo, Sept 28, 2015
Trump: ’60 Minutes’ Was Tougher On Me Than On Vladimir Putin! (VIDEO)

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 0:39

“In terms of leadership [Putin is] getting an ‘A’ and our President is not doing so well.”
“Yes [I met Putin], one time, a long time ago. Got along with him great, by the way.”
- Oct 6, 2015

Savage Nation (via Huffington Post), Jan 18, 2017
TRUMP: I Met Putin, 'Got Along With Him Great'

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 5:48

“I got to know [Putin] very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.”
- Nov 10, 2015

Republican presidential primary debate

Newsday, Nov. 11, 2015
Republican debate: Notable quotes from the candidates, Nov. 10, 2015

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at beginning

“It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”
- Dec 17, 2015

When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia… He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know unlike what we have in this country… Our country does plenty of killing also, Joe…

“I’ve always felt fine about Putin. I think that he’s a strong leader… He’s actually got a popularity within his country. They respect him as a leader.”
- Dec 18, 2015

MSNBC 'Morning Joe' interview

UPI, Dec 18, 2015
Trump praises Putin in spite of crackdown on dissent

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been — you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the name. Now, I think it would be despicable if that took place, but I haven’t seen any evidence that he killed anybody in terms of reporters… I don’t know — I don’t think anybody knows that. It’s possible that he does. But I don’t think it’s been proven. Has anybody proven that he’s killed reporters? … There are allegations. Yes, sure, there are allegations. I’ve read those allegations over the years, but nobody’s proven that he’s killed anybody as far as I’m concerned. He hasn’t killed reporters that it’s been proven…

“And, by the way, he totally denies that he kills reporters. He totally denied it.”
- Dec 20, 2015

'This Week' interview

ABC News, Dec 20, 2015
'This Week' Transcript: Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

(retrieved 1/4/19)
[Putin] called me a genius, I like him so far, I have to tell you.”
- Feb 13, 2016

GOP primary debate in Greenville, S.C.

Washington Post, Feb 13, 2016
The CBS News Republican debate transcript, annotated

(retrieved 7/16/18)

#DonaldTrump 2/10/14: "When I went to Russia…❲Putin❳ contacted me and was so nice." » #Trump 7/27/16: "I never met Putin. I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever." Click To Tweet


Feb 17, 2016 - 2020

Trump Relationship Putin Now
“I have no relationship with [Putin] other than he called me a genius. He said ‘Donald trump is a genius’ and he is going to be the leader of the party and he’s going to be the leader of the world or something. He said some good stuff about me and these characters that I’m running against said, ‘We want you to disavow that statement.’ I said what, he called me a genius, I’m going to disavow it? Are you crazy? Can you believe it? How stupid are they.”
Feb 17, 2016 -

Reuters, Feb. 17, 2016
Trump: 'Putin called me a genius'

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“Wrong [I have not expressed admiration for Putin]… Wrong [I have not said he’s a strong leader]… Putin said about me — I didn’t say about Putin — Putin said very nice things about me.”
March 4, 2016 -

GOP primary debate in Detroit.

New York Times, March 4, 2016
Transcript of the Republican Presidential Debate in Detroit

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“I think Putin has been a very strong leader for Russia. I think he has been a lot stronger than our leader, that I can tell you. I mean, for Russia, that doesn’t mean I’m endorsing Putin… Putin is a strong leader, absolutely… He is a strong leader. Now I don’t say that in a good way or a bad way. I say it as a fact.”
March 14, 2016 -

GOP primary debate in Miami.

CNN, March 4, 2016
Transcript of Republican debate in Miami, full text

(retrieved 7/16/18)
Putin said, ‘Donald Trump is brilliant and Donald Trump is a real leader. And Donald Trump will be the real leader.’ O.K.? I didn’t say anything about him other than to say… I said, we were on ’60 Minutes’ the same night, remember? That was six months ago. But I never said good, bad, or indifferent. I said he is a strong leader, he is a strong leader. But I didn’t say that, and I’m not saying that positively or negatively, I’m just saying he’s a strong leader. That’s pretty obvious that he’s a strong leader.”
March 14, 2016 -

New York Times, March 26, 2016
Transcript: Donald Trump Expounds on His Foreign Policy Views

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“I think I would possibly have a good relationship. I don’t know. I think he said some really nice things. He called me a genius. He said Trump’s a genius. Okay. So, you know, that’s nice. That’s not going to persuade me one way or the other. I have people on the debate stage that said, get him to disavow it. Get him. And I said, ‘Why would I do that?’ But no, no, he has been very nice to me. But let me just tell you. I have no idea, Bill.”
April 28, 2016 -

'The O'Reilly Factor' interview

Fox News, April 29, 2016
Donald Trump on his foreign policy strategy

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“I have no comment on [whether I’ve met Putin]. No comment… I don’t want to comment because, let’s assume I did. Perhaps it was personal. You know, I don’t want to hurt his confidence.”
May 5, 2016 -

Fox News (via, May 5, 2016
Special Report With Bret Baier, FOX News, May 5, 2016

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“[Hillary Clinton said] ‘Donald Trump is a friend of Putin.’ Well, actually, Putin did call me a genius, and he said I’m the future of the Republican Party. He’s off to a good start.”
May 27, 2016 -

CNN, May 27, 2016
Transcripts: THE SITUATION ROOM Aired May 27, 2016

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“No! No, I haven’t [been complimentary of Putin]… He’s been complimentary of me. I think Putin and I will get along very well. But he’s been complimentary of me.”
July 21, 2016 -

New York Times, July 21, 2016
Transcript: Donald Trump on NATO, Turkey’s Coup Attempt and the World

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“I never met Putin. I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever.”
July 27, 2016 -

CBS4 Miami interview

CBS4 News, July 27, 2016
CBS4 News Exclusive: Trump Denies Ties To Russia

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius. I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin

“I’m not going to tell Putin what to do [about email hacking]. Why should I tell Putin what to do? He already did something today where he said don’t blame them, essentially, for your incompetence. Let me tell you, it’s not even about Russia or China or whoever it is that’s doing the hacking…

“I have nothing to do with Putin. I’ve never spoken to him. I don’t know anything about him other than he will respect me… I hope that we get along great with Putin because it would be great to have Russia with a good relationship.”
July 27, 2016 -

American Presidency Project, July 27, 2016
News Conference in Doral, Florida

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 0:16

“Just so you understand, [Putin] said very nice things about me, but I have no relationship with him. I don’t — I’ve never met him

“No [I didn’t say I have a relationship with him], look, what — what do you call a relationship? I mean he treats me with great respect. I have no relationship with Putin. I don’t think I’ve ever met him. I never met him. I don’t think I’ve ever met him… Yes, I think [I’d know if I met him. So I’ve — I don’t think I’ve ever met him. I mean if he’s in the same room or something. But I don’t think so… I’ve been in Moscow. I didn’t meet him in Moscow

“I have never spoken to him on the phone, no. I’ve speak — I’ve spoken — when we had the Miss Universe contest a number of years ago, we had Miss Universe in Moscow, in the Moscow area, he was invited. He wanted to come. He wasn’t able to come. That would have been a time when I would have met him.

“I don’t know what it means by having a relationship. I mean he was saying very good things about me, but I don’t have a relationship with him. I didn’t meet him. I haven’t spent time with him. I didn’t have dinner with him. I didn’t go hiking with him. I don’t know — and I wouldn’t know him from Adam except I see his picture and I would know what he looks like…

“When Putin goes out and tells everybody — and you talk about a relationship, but he says ‘Donald Trump is going to win’ and ‘Donald Trump is a genius’, and then I have people saying you should disavow. I said, ‘I’m going to disavow that’? … I’m not going to be mean to anybody. George, you know me pretty well. I don’t bow, OK. I don’t bow.”
July 31, 2016 -

ABC News, July 31, 2016
'This Week' Transcript: Donald Trump, Vice President Joe Biden, and Ret. Gen. John Allen

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 3:53

“I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin

“I think when he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment, OK? The fact is, look, it’s not going to get him anywhere… The fact that he calls me brilliant or whatever he calls me is going to have zero impact… it’s not going to have any impact. If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader. I mean, you can say, oh, isn’t that a terrible thing — the man has very strong control over a country. Now, 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.”
Sept 8, 2016 -

'Commander in Chief' forum

Time, Sept 8, 2016
Read Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's Remarks at a Military Forum

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 13:35

“I don’t know Putin…I don’t know Putin.”
Oct 9, 2016 -

Second 2016 Presidential Debate

New York Times, Oct. 10, 2016
Transcript of the Second Debate

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 0:47

“I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good… [I’m] no [Putin] puppet. You’re the puppet

“[Hillary Clinton] has no idea whether it is Russia [who interfered in our election], China or anybody else… Our country has no idea… She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way. Putin has outsmarted her in Syria, he’s outsmarted her every step of the way

“[I condemn interference in the election] by Russia or anybody else… Of course I condemn, of course I condemn – I don’t know Putin. I have no idea- … I never met Putin. This is not my best friend. But if the United States got along with Russia, it wouldn’t be so bad. Let me tell you, Putin has outsmarted her and Obama at every single step of the way… She has been outsmarted and outplayed worse than anybody I’ve ever seen in any government whatsoever…

“Our country is so outplayed by Putin.”
Oct 19, 2016 -

Third 2016 Presidential Debate

ABC News, Oct. 20, 2016
Full transcript: Third 2016 presidential debate

(retrieved 7/16/18)
starts at 21:10

“I think [the U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia interfered in our election is] public relations, frankly… People are hacking all over the place and nobody knows. They don’t know if it’s Russia. They can’t guarantee it’s Russia. And it may be. I mean, it may be Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. [Hillary Clinton] likes to put the narrative about Donald Trump with Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. I don’t know money. I don’t have deals in Russia. I don’t know Putin.”
Oct 27, 2016 -

November 8, 2016: Donald Trump wins 2016 Presidential election

“[The congratulatory note Putin sent me was] beautiful.”
Nov 9, 2016 -

New York Times, Jan 15, 2019
Every Time Trump Has Talked to Putin

(retrieved 1/26/19)
“[I recieved] a very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct.”
Dec 23, 2016 -

Putin's letter said: “I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able – by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner - to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level.”

The Hill, Dec 23, 2016
Trump shares letter from Putin: 'His thoughts are so correct'

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: ‘In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.’ So true!”


“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”


“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people… [Putin] shouldn’t be doing it. He won’t be doing it… He shouldn’t have done it. I don’t believe that he will be doing it more now. We have to work something out, but it’s not just Russia. Take a look at what’s happened… 22 million accounts were hacked in this country by China.”
Jan 11, 2017 -

New York Times, Jan 11, 2017
Donald Trump’s News Conference: Full Transcript and Video

(retrieved 7/12/18)
“I do respect him… I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him… He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not… There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”
Feb 4, 2017 -

The Hill, Feb 4, 2017
Trump defends Putin: 'You think our country is so innocent?

(retrieved 7/12/18)
quote starts at 0:14
“I don’t know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy”
“[Putin told me] ‘If we did [hack the US election], we wouldn’t have gotten caught because we’re professionals.’ I thought that was a good point because they are some of the best in the world.”
July 8, 2017 -

Per an unnamed New York Times reporter, who said Trump argued that the Russians were falsely accused of election interference.

New York Times, Jan 15, 2019
Trump and Putin Have Met Five Times. What Was Said Is a Mystery.

(retrieved 1/26/19)
“I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it.”
“I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about — things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption… We talked about Russian adoption. Yeah. I always found that interesting. Because, you know, he ended that years ago. And I actually talked about Russian adoption with him, which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don [Trump Jr.] had in that meeting.”
July 19, 2017 -

New York Times, July 19, 2017
Excerpts From The Times’s Interview With Trump

(retrieved 7/20/18)
“[Putin] said he didn’t meddle — I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did. Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”
Nov 11, 2017 -

New York Times, Nov 11, 2017
Trump Says Putin ‘Means It’ About Not Meddling

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“I believe that [Putin] feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it, I’m with our agencies. As currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”
Nov 12, 2017 -

Associated Press, Nov 11, 2017
Trump: ‘I’m with our agencies’ on Russian election meddling

(retrieved 7/16/18)
“[I called Putin congratulate him on his victory and] we had a very good call. We will probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future.”
March 19, 2018 -

New York Times, March 20, 2018
Trump Congratulates Putin, but Doesn’t Mention Meddling in U.S.

(retrieved 1/26/19)
“They’re going ‘Will President Trump be prepared, you know, President Putin is KGB and this and that.’ You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I’ve been preparing for this stuff my whole life.”
July 5, 2018 -

The Hill, July 5, 2018
Trump dismisses concerns about Russia: 'Putin's fine'

(retrieved 2/10/19)

“I’m meeting with President Putin on Monday… We will, of course, ask your favorite question about meddling. I will be asking that question again… Well, he may [deny meddling in the US election]. I mean, look, he may. You know, what am I going to do? He may deny it. I mean, it’s one of those things. All I can do is say, ‘Did you’ and ‘Don’t do it again.’ But he may deny it. You’ll be the first to know. Okay? …

“We have NATO, then we have the UK, and then we have Putin. And I said, Putin may be the easiest of them all

“He’s not my enemy. And hopefully, someday, maybe he’ll be a friend.”
July 12, 2018 -

U.S. Embassy in Estonia, July 12, 2018
Remarks by President Trump at Press Conference After NATO Summit

(retrieved 7/17/18)

“During today’s meeting, I addressed directly with President Putin the issue of Russian interference in our elections. I felt this was a message best delivered in person. We spent a great deal of time talking about it, and President Putin may very well want to address it, and very strongly — because he feels very strongly about it, and he has an interesting idea…

I didn’t know the President. There was nobody to collude with

“All I can do is ask the question [did Russia interfere in the 2016 election]. My people came to me — Dan Coats came to me and some others — they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be… But I have — I have confidence in both parties… I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did is an incredible offer; he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators… I think that’s an incredible offer.”
July 16, 2018 -

Trump-Putin Helsinki Summit

White House, July 16, 2018
Remarks by President Trump and President Putin of the Russian Federation in Joint Press Conference

(retrieved 7/17/18)
starts at 25:51

“While I had a great meeting with NATO… I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy!”
“In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’ The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative. I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. It could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”
July 17, 2018 -

In the wake of fierce criticism of his speech the previous day

CNN, July 17, 2018
Trump, facing fury, says he misspoke with Putin

(retrieved 7/17/18)
“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear.”
“I would say [a second meeting with Putin is] in the works. We had a tremendous discussion on many things… We had a tremendous meeting. We had — I think it was a very good press conference, I mean except for the fake news I really think I did very well at the press conference… We got along very well. Look, the fact is we got along very well… I think I’d have a good relationship with Putin.”
July 20, 2018 -
“I didn’t [ever say anything harsh about Putin publicly]?… I think I’m very tough with him personally. I had a meeting with him. The two of us. It was a very tough meeting and it was a very good meeting…

“Probably he is [involved in assassinations and poisonings], yeah. Probably. I mean, I don’t — But I rely on them, it’s not in our country.”
Oct 11, 2018 -

“I would [release the details of my private conversation with Putin in Helsinki]. I don’t care. I’m not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn’t care less. [We had a] a great conversation.”
Jan 12, 2019 -

Hours after the Washington Post published a report stating that Trump 'has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details' of his talks with Putin and that there is no detailed record of Trump’s meetings with Putin over the past two years.

Politico, Jan 12, 2019
Trump: ‘I couldn’t care less’ if Putin conversation becomes public

(retrieved 1/21/19)
“Yes, of course I will [tell Russia to not meddle in the 2020 election]. [In mock seriousness:] Don’t meddle in the election, President [Putin]. Don’t meddle in the election.”
- June 28, 2019

New York Times, June 28, 2019
Trump and Putin Share Joke About Election Meddling, Sparking New Furor

(retrieved 7/1/19)
starts at 0:09

“It was the G-8 for a long time, and now it’s the G-7, and a lot of the time we talk about, we talk about Russia. We’re talking about Russia because I’ve got to numerous G-7 meetings. And I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in, so he wanted Russia out. But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in, it should be the G-8 because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia. So I could certainly see it being the G-8 again, and if somebody would make that motion I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably. But as you know most of the time it was the G-8, it included Russia, and President Obama didn’t want Russia in, because he got outsmarted. Well, that’s not the way it really should work.”
Aug 20, 2019 -

CNBC, Aug 20, 2019
Trump renews call for Russia to join G-7 group

(retrieved 8/26/19)
quote starts at beginning
“The Russian collusion was a scam. You can ask Putin. Nobody has been rougher on Russia than Donald Trump, okay? Now, with that being said, it would be great to get along with Russia. And we will get along with Russia, because it’s smart. But nobody has been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump.”
Oct 2, 2019 -

White House, Oct 2, 2019
Remarks by President Trump and President Niinistö of the Republic of Finland in Joint Press Conference

(retrieved 10/2/19)
quote starts at 1:42
“I have never discussed [Russian bounties on US troops in Afghanistan] with [Putin]… frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.”
Jul 28, 2020 -
John Bolton…states often that I respected, and even trusted, Vladimir Putin of Russia more than those in our Intelligence Agencies. While of course that is not true, if the first people you met from so called American Intelligence were Dirty Cops who have now proven to be sleazebags at the highest level like span class=’link-int’>James Comey, proven liar James Clapper, & perhaps the lowest of them all, Wacko John Brennan who headed the CIA, you could perhaps understand my reluctance to embrace!”
“Well, I think we have to look at it very seriously if [Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned by Russia], and I think we will. There’s nobody been tougher on Russia than I have. We get along…

“We’ve taken stronger action against Russia than any other country in the world, as you know. I’ll tell you, President Putin would tell you that right now. But the fact that I — the fact that I get along with Russia… I do get along with — with President Putin. But I’ve been tougher on Russia than anybody else, by far.”
Sept 4, 2020 -

White House, Sept 4, 2020
Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing | September 4, 2020

(retrieved 9/5/20)
“‘He gets along with Putin, that’s a terrible thing’ — no, it’s a good thing if I get along, that’s good. He likes me — I like him. Not so bad. ‘He gets along with Kim Jong-un, that’s a terrible thing’ — no, it’s a good thing… It’s okay not to go to war, it’s really okay.”
Sept 10, 2020 -

Raw Story, Sept 10, 2020
Trump praises two dictators in less than one minute at Michigan rally: Putin ‘likes me — I like him’

(retrieved 9/19/20)
quote starts at 0:30
“The only thing I can tell you for sure: President Xi from China, President Putin from Russia, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, and I could name 40 others, they’re sharp as a tack. They don’t want to deal with Sleepy Joe. One of them said to me, one of the leaders said, ‘We don’t want to deal with somebody that sleeps all the time.’”
Oct 26, 2020 -

New York Magazine, Oct 26, 2020
Trump Admits China, Russia, North Korea Are Rooting for Him to Beat Biden

(retrieved 10/28/20)
quote starts at 0:19

#DonaldTrump 6/18/15: "Yes ❲I have had contact with Putin❳…I got to meet all ❲Russian❳ leaders." » #Trump 7/16/18: "I didn’t know ❲Putin❳. There was nobody to collude with." Click To Tweet