“I always knew he was very smart!” Trump tweeted of his new comrade “V. Putin,” praising the Russian leader’s “great move” to delay expelling U.S. diplomats from Russia in response to new sanctions by President Obama.
But if Trump’s man crush on Putin seemed to come as a surprise, one need only look back at this prescient segment from Jon Stewart on The Daily Show to see the origin of a certain type of Republican’s drift away from Cold War hysteria and towards a full-on embrace of Russia’s strongman leader.
“Much of the world now sees Putin for what he is, a semi-delusional autocrat who views the dissolution of the Soviet Union as one of the greatest tragedies of the late 20th century and has confused his own geopolitical propaganda for reality,” Stewart said in March of 2014, shortly after Russia seized control of Crimea and more than a year before Trump announced his presidential run. “I mean, who would be fooled by this guy’s bullshit?”
Jon Stewart Predicted Trump’s Putin Crush: ‘Who Would Be Fooled by This Guy’s ‘Bullsh*t?’ - The Daily Beast