Trump says Putin is 'strong' and 'powerful' leader: MSNBC

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Trump: Putin Is a Leader, Unlike Our President

"I've always felt fine about Putin. He's a strong leader, he's a powerful leader, he's representing his country," Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says on MSNBC.

  • Says he could see Russia being a strong asset to U.S. "if we get along well" with Russian President Vladimir Putin; says Putin "does not respect Obama"
  • Trump calls on other countries, especially Germany, to take an active role in Ukraine; "they hardly speak up" while accepting oil, gas from Russia

NOTE: Putin said Trump is "a very colorful character and talented" on Thursday at annual press conference in Moscow Related: Putin Praises 'Absolute Leader' Trump as Colorful, Talented Guy

See photos of Putin's best reactions to this week's press event:

21 PHOTOS
Vladimir Putin makes faces at his annual press conference
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Trump says Putin is 'strong' and 'powerful' leader: MSNBC
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. President Vladimir Putin says Turkey acted contrary to its own interests by downing a Russian warplane. Speaking at a televised news conference Thursday, Putin said that he sees no possibility of overcoming the diplomatic strain under the current Turkish leadership. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual press conference on December 17, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. During the conference, the Russian President spoke about a number of topics including doping in sport, the situation in Ukraine and the downing of a Russian combat jet by Turkey last month. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Journalists raise their hands for questions during Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 17 described US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as a talented and outstanding man. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. President Vladimir Putin says that Russia's economy is showing signs of stabilization despite plum meting prices. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. President Vladimir Putin says Turkey acted contrary to its own interests by downing a Russian warplane. Speaking at a televised news conference Thursday, Putin said that he sees no possibility of overcoming the diplomatic strain under the current Turkish leadership. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end of year news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Putin says that Russia's economy is showing signs of stabilization despite plummeting oil prices. Putin, speaking Thursday at a news conference televised live, said that despite a GDP drop caused by a drop in global oil prices, Russia's main commodity, the nation's industries have started to rebound. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference on December 17, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. During the conference, the Russian President spoke about a number of topics including doping in sport, the situation in Ukraine and the downing of a Russian combat jet by Turkey last month. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Putin says that Russia's economy is showing signs of stabilization despite plummeting oil prices. Putin, speaking Thursday at a news conference televised live, said that despite a GDP drop caused by a drop in global oil prices, Russia's main commodity, the nation's industries have started to rebound. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he leaves a hall after his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 17 described US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as a talented and outstanding man. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. President Vladimir Putin said on December 17 Russia was prepared to face any economic situation as the country's energy-dependent economy reels from lower oil prices. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / AFP / SPUTNIK / MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin answers the questions of the press members during an annual evaluation session in Moscow, Russia, on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Putin says that Russia's economy is showing signs of stabilization despite plummeting oil prices. Putin, speaking Thursday at a news conference televised live, said that despite a GDP drop caused by a drop in global oil prices, Russia's main commodity, the nation's industries have started to rebound. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference on December 17, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. During the conference, the Russian President spoke about a number of topics including doping in sport, the situation in Ukraine and the downing of a Russian combat jet by Turkey last month. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. President Vladimir Putin says Turkey acted contrary to its own interests by downing a Russian warplane. Speaking at a televised news conference Thursday, Putin said that he sees no possibility of overcoming the diplomatic strain under the current Turkish leadership. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin walks before the 11th presidential annual news conference at the World Trade Center on Krasnaya Presnya on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin walks before the 11th presidential annual news conference at the World Trade Center on Krasnaya Presnya on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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