Putin Says Americans Shouldn't 'Disrespect' Trump in Public Attack on Free Speech
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly derided Americans for not deferring to U.S. President Donald Trump and seemingly tried to encourage Trump in his efforts to restrict free speech.
"Inside the country, disrespect is shown for him. This is a regrettable negative component of the U.S. political system," Putin said, according to a Russian state-run news agency. "One can argue but one can’t show disrespect, even not for him personally but for those people who voted for him."
Putin indirectly fed Trump's ego by suggesting he is uniquely qualified for the job.
"[T]he president of the United States does not need any advice because one has to possess certain talent and go through this trial to be elected, even without having the experience of such big administrative work," the authoritarian Russian leader said.
Putin described Trump's erratic leadership as a "reasonable response" to "great domestic resistance."
The comments may be an attempt to retain favor with Trump after Putin criticized the president for antagonizing North Korea.