Why Donald Trump desperately wants to be pals with Vladimir Putin – or why he imagines he already is the Russian president’s ‘friend’

Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is desperately trying to make friends with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Matter of fact, he gives the impression he and Putin are indeed friends. The question – or, rather, the problem – is why? At one point in the US presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump said “Wouldn’t it be great if Russia and the US got along together - wouldn’t that be great?” to the roaring approval of his followers.

During a recent TV interview, Trump appeared to contradict himself when he said of Putin: “I know him – he’s a nice guy.” which he later followed with the statement “Never met him. But we could really get along well. We could.”

Russia’s official press relations officer has stated over and over that “Putin and Trump have never met or spoken.” When prodded, the spokesman added “Not even by telephone.”

Donald J. Trump tried to get the attention of – and wiggle out a friendship with – the Russian leader with a tweet shortly before a Miss Universe pageant held in Moscow in November 2013:

Donald J. Trump 

✔@realDonaldTrump

Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow - if so, will he become my new best friend?

There was no response to this tweet – with or without love – from Russia or from Putin. But that didn’t stop The Donald. In a side trip to Scotland this year to inaugurate a new golf course, Trump said he’d “get along very well” with Vladimir Putin. Why he even said that is a mystery.

It also appears that Donald J. Trump thinks he and Putin have become friends just because they appeared on the same episode of “60 Minutes.” Trump said of the experience: "I think the biggest thing we have is that we were on '60 Minutes' together and we had fantastic ratings. . . So that was good, right? So we were stable mates."

Why is Donald J. Trump so desperate to be friends with the Russian dictator?

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