President-elect Donald Trump and his team spent much of a Jan. 11 press conference distancing the president-elect from Russian President Vladimir Putin and denying any claims the two collaborated in the lead-up to the election. However, a November 2013 video of Trump (below) has now surfaced in which the future president-elect clearly states he and Putin have a relationship.
In the video, filmed in Moscow, Russia, ahead of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that Trump still owned, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts asks Trump, "Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin? A conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?"
"I do a have relationship," Trump responds, notes Us Weekly. "And I can tell you that he's very interested in what we're doing here today. He's probably very interested in what you and I am saying today, and I'm sure he's going to be seeing it in some form. But I do have a relationship with him."
"So I tweeted out that I have no dealings with Russia," Trump told reporters at his Jan. 11 press conference when asked about business dealings with Russia, notes The New York Times. "I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia."
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"Look, he's done a very good job in terms of what he represents and who he's representing," Trump continued in the November 2013 video, notes Us Weekly. "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."
"Well, if — if Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia," Trump added at his Jan. 11 press conference, reports The New York Times. "Now, I don’t know that I’m gonna get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. And if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break."