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Putin says ‘more predictable’ Biden a better choice for US than Trump

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Russian President Vladimir Putin says he would rather see President Biden stay in office as opposed to former President Trump, describing the incumbent as “more predictable” than his GOP challenger.

Asked by journalist Pavel Zarubin for his 2024 election preference, Putin said, “Biden. He has more experience, and he is more predictable too, an old school politician,” according to remarks provided by the Kremlin this week.

“That said, we will work with any leader of the United States who has the trust of the American people,” he continued.

Despite his preference for Biden, Putin did not stop short of criticizing the White House.

“I believe that the current administration is pursuing what amounts to a harmful and erroneous policy. This is what I told President Biden back then,” Putin said, per the Kremlin.

Trump, who regularly describes the autocratic Putin as “smart,” called the remarks “a great compliment” at a rally in South Carolina.

“He just said that he would much rather have Joe Biden as president than Trump,” he said. “Now that’s a compliment. … And of course, he would say that.”

“He doesn’t want to have me. He wants Biden because he’s going to be given everything he wants, including Ukraine,” Trump added.

The Hill has reached out to the White House and Trump campaign for further comment.

Biden assumed the presidency about one year before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and has maintained steadfast support for Kyiv. The U.S. has given Ukraine billions in funding and ammunition, though additional funding remains in limbo as lawmakers struggle to come to an agreement on the topic.

The Senate passed a $95.3 billion emergency defense spending legislation earlier this week that would provide $60 billion to Ukraine, though House Republicans have remained opposed to moving a funding bill without provisions to address the border and immigration policy.

Putin appeared to dismiss swirling concerns over Biden’s age and mental fitness during his interview with Zarubuin.

“What this suggests to me is that the election campaign and domestic political struggles are gaining traction in the United States. These processes are exacerbating so I do not think that it would be appropriate for us to weigh in on them,” he said.

The Russian leader recounted meeting the president in Geneva in 2021 and said he did not notice anything that made Biden unfit for office.

“Well, he [Biden] did keep glancing at his notes but, to be honest, I looked at mine too. Nothing special about that,” Putin said. “And the fact that he banged his head on something when descending from a helicopter, well, who of us has never banged his head on something? Let them throw the first stone, as the saying goes.”

Special counsel Robert Hur last week released his report on Biden’s handling of classified documents, in which he included a scathing description of various memory lapses from the president.

Hur described Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory,” resulting in fury from the administration and Democrats, who called the comments out of line and unsubstantiated.

Trump, meanwhile, is facing backlash after saying he’d actually encourage Russian aggression toward “delinquent” NATO allies that do not meet defense spending targets.

The former president has repeatedly touted his relationship with Putin and last year claimed he was “the apple of his eye” during his administration. He has maintained he could end Russia’s war with Ukraine in 24 hours if elected back to the Oval Office.

While in office, Trump faced bipartisan criticism for siding with Putin over the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community regarding Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election.

“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,” Trump said in 2018.

“He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,” he added.

Lauren Sfroza contributed.

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