Responding to the charge that Russian president Vladimir Putin wouldn’t respect her authority as president, Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump would be a “puppet” for the Russian strongman were he elected president.
“From everything I see has no respect for this person,” Trump said Putin thinks of Clinton, after listing the dangers of a contentious U.S.-Russia relationship in the nuclear era.
“Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president,” Clinton responded. “It’s pretty clear you won’t admit that the Russians have engaged in cyber attacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line.”
“No puppet, no puppet. You’re the puppet. No you’re the puppet,” Trump interjected over Clinton’s answer.
Critics have said Trump has an awfully soft spot for the Russian leader, most recently after he refused to accept the analysis of the intelligence community that Russian-directed hackers were behind email leaks from the Democratic National Committee, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, and others.