Putin expresses sympathy for Trump

“We are carefully watching what is happening in the United States and we, of course, view with sympathy those who publicly state that it is necessary to build a relationship with Russia, on basis of equality,” Putin said in an interview broadcast on Russian television, according to the AFP.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has said that it would be better for the U.S. to have normalized relations with Russia, a marked departure from typical Republican thinking and out-of-step with the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s military involvement in Crimea and elsewhere in Ukraine.

The Republican nominee has also expressed a personal admiration for Putin, who he has said is a stronger leader within the Russian system of government than Obama is in the U.S.