Donald Trump lavishes praise on 'leader' Putin

December 18, 2015 1:30 PM

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Donald Trump lavishes praise on 'leader' Putin

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump on Friday praised Vladimir Putin and appeared to defend the autocratic Russian president when pressed about his alleged killing of journalists and political opponents critical of his rule.

One day after Putin called Trump a "bright and talented" and the "absolute leader of the presidential race," the Republican presidential front-runner returned the compliments, hailing Putin as a "leader" and pointing to his high favorability numbers in Russia.

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