Asked About Putin and Murdered Journalists, Trump Says ‘At Least He’s a Leader’

By Mark Joyella 

Asked by MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski about flattering comments made about him by Russian president Vladimir Putin, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said “when people call you brilliant, it’s always good.”

But Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough pressed Trump on the murder of journalists in Russia. “Well…it’s also a person that kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries. Obviously that would be a concern, would it not?”

Trump’s answer, “at least he’s a leader,” seemed to stun Scarborough, leading to this exchange:

SCARBOROUGH: But again, he kills journalists that don’t agree with him.

TRUMP: I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. You know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on and a lot of stupidity and that’s the way it is. But you didn’t ask me the question. You asked me a different question. So that’s fine.

SCARBOROUGH: I’m confused. So you obviously condemn Vladimir Putin killing journalists and political opponents, right?

TRUMP: Oh sure, absolutely.