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Russia’s Vladimir Putin says he prefers Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the White House


He says he’s more experienced. He’s more predictable. He doesn’t think his age or mental acuity are a problem.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday in an interview on his country’s state TV that he’d rather have Joe Biden, 81, in the White House than Donald Trump, 77, because the former was an “old-school” politician.

They were Putin’s first public comments on this year’s U.S. presidential election. Russia’s leader often makes unreliable and contradictory statements that mask and distort his positions and intentions in order to sow chaos.

Still, Putin’s remarks come amid growing tensions between Democrats and Republicans over the Biden administrations’s efforts to send more military aid to Ukraine as Moscow’s invasion nears the two-year mark.

Ukraine is running out of weapons. Is it also running low on the time-tested coping mechanism of humor?

They also follow comments made by Trump that he would “encourage” Russia to attack NATO members who don’t meet the U.S.-led military alliance’s financial contribution targets, set at 2% of a nation’s GDP.

U.S. officials warned Wednesday of a “serious national security threat” involving Russia’s alleged attempts to deploy nuclear weapons into space. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday dismissed that suggestion as a political “trick” by the White House, though he did not elaborate what he meant by that.

Putin: ‘Who hasn’t banged their head on something?’

In the state TV interview, Putin said he was ultimately prepared to “work with any U.S. leader who wins the trust of the American people.” But he said a Biden presidency would be better for Russia because the current U.S. leader “was a more experienced person, he is predictable, he is a politician of the old-school.”

Putin said when he last met Biden in Geneva in 2021 he had not noticed anything peculiar about his sharpness and that those who say Biden is not fit for office because of his age reflect a “vicious” U.S. election campaign.

‘I did what I came to do’: Biden, Putin leave summit with agreements, but clear tensions remain

Biden is not only the first octogenarian in the Oval Office, his relative seniority puts him among the 5% of world leaders who are in their 80s, according to Pew Research. Concerns about his advancing years and mental fitness have dogged him. Polls have shown the majority of Americans think he is too old to serve another term.

“Even then people were saying that he was incompetent, but I did not see anything of this sort,” Putin said. “Yes, he was peeking at his notes from time to time, but, frankly speaking, I was peeking at mine as well. So he banged his head on his helicopter when he was getting out of it − who hasn’t banged their head on something?”

Too old or very wise: U.S. leaders are among the world’s oldest. Is it a problem?

Biden vs. Trump vs. Putin

Biden has long been a fierce Putin critic, while Russia’s leader has appeared to eye Biden warily over the several decades they have come into contact with one another through successive U.S. administrations.

Even before Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Biden referred to Putin as a “killer” with no soul, a reference to the slew of Putin opponents who have died in suspicious circumstances, including poisonings.

Estonian intelligence: Putin plans to double Russia’s troops along NATO border

Biden has described Putin as a “war criminal” for his country’s actions in Ukraine.

Putin has repeatedly attacked Biden’s support for Ukraine and disparaged his administration more generally for accusing Moscow of being behind cyberattacks directed at the U.S. and its allies; for cracking down on pro-democracy protesters; and for claiming that Russia is a threat to the NATO military alliance.

‘The last thing we need’: Barack Obama jumps into the fray after Donald Trump attacks NATO

Russia’s leader, by contrast, praised Trump as “outstanding and talented” when he ran for president in 2016 and Trump has repeatedly said he got along well with Putin while in the White House.

“President Putin of Russia has just given me a great compliment, actually,” Trump said at a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday.

“He just said he would much rather have Joe Biden as president than Trump,” he continued.

“Now that’s a compliment. A lot of people said, ‘Oh, gee, that’s too bad.’ No, no, that’s a good thing. And of course, he would say that.”

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