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McConnell Calls Putin A Thug, Attacks Russia

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin, separating from President Donald Trump’s stance that he “respects” the foreign leader.

“Putin is a former KGB agent, he’s a thug, he was not elected in a way that most people would consider a credible election,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

When asked if he agreed with Trump’s comments, McConnell said he can only speak for himself on the matter, but doesn’t believe you can compare the way the U.S. governs to how Russia operates.

“I’m not going to critique the president’s every utterance. But I do think America is exceptional, America is different. We don’t operate in any way the way the Russians do,” McConnell said. “I think there’s a clear distinction here that all Americans understand. And no, I would not have characterized it that way.”

Vice President Mike Pence echoed McConnell’s sentiments that America doesn’t govern in the same way Russia does, during an appearance in “Meet the Press,” but defended the president’s stance the country should strive to make good deals.

“American ideals are superior to countries all across the world,” Pence told Dickerson. “But, again, what the president is determined to do, as someone who has spent a lifetime looking for deals, is to see if we can have a new relationship with Russia and other countries that advances the interests of America first and the peace and security of the world.”

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