Donald Trump, a Republican business tycoon and television personality whose sights are set on the U.S. presidency, said in a speech Saturday that if he ascends to the White House in 2016, U.S.-Russian relations will improve, as he and President Vladimir Putin would get along "very, very well."
In a speech that centered largely on the tough immigration rhetoric that has garnered him condemnation and praise, Trump asserted that he would have more positive results in dealing with China and Russia if he were president and said he could be pals with Putin.
Asked by an audience member in Las Vegas about U.S.-Russia relations, Trump said the problem is that Putin doesn't respect current U.S. President Barack Obama.
"I think we would get along very, very well," he said of Putin.
Trump's sentiments on Putin come in stark contrast to those expressed by Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at a campaign event earlier this month.
"We have to be much smarter in how we deal with Putin and how we deal with his ambitions," Clinton said at an event in New Hampshire. "He's not an easy man … But I don't think there is any substitute other than constant engagement."