Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager to Donald Trump, is the latest Republican to push forward the notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a stronger leader” than President Barack Obama.
“Vladimir Putin has had a stronger influence on his country than Barack Obama has had here. He’s been a stronger leader,” Lewandowski, now a CNN contributor, said on the network’s New Day program Friday morning.
Also calling Putin “a fighter” for his people, Lewandowski said Trump’s willingness to work with the Russian president presents an opportunity “to work with what would normally be an adversary.”
His comments come a day after Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said “it’s inarguable” that Putin has demonstrated better leadership abilities than Obama, and two days after Trump said at NBC’s Commander-in-Chief forum that Putin “has been a leader far more than our president has been a leader.”
Lewandowski admitted that while Putin “has done some terrible things,” when asked if Trump agrees with him on everything, it’s more important that the country “be working with our adversaries” to defeat ISIL and other terrorist groups.
“What Donald Trump has said and continues to say is let’s find a way to work with Russia so that we can defeat ISIS,” he said. “That’s the number one priority”.