In a newly resurfaced 2015 radio interview, Donald Trump claimed that he met Russian President Vladimir Putin and that they “got along great,” contradicting his later campaign trail claims that he never met or spoke with Putin.
“Have you ever met Vladimir Putin?” conservative talk radio host Michael Savage asked Trump in the exchange, resurfaced Tuesday by an opposition research group and flagged by Yahoo News.
“Yes,” Trump replied.
“You have?” Savage pressed.
“Yes, a long time ago,” Trump said. “We got along great, by the way.”
“If you do win the presidency, and I certainly hope you do, do you feel you can do business with Vladimir?” Savage asked.
“Yes, I do. I mean, that’s what I do,” Trump said. “Yeah, I think I would get along very well. I had the big Miss Universe pageant in, believe it or not, in Moscow two years ago. I got to know so many of the Russian leaders, and the top people in Russia.”
A spokesman for Trump’s transition did not respond to Yahoo’s request for comment.
Trump boasted during a National Press Club luncheon in 2014 that he spoke “directly and indirectly” with Putin while in Moscow. And on the Republican presidential debate stage in November 2015, Trump bragged about getting to know Putin “very well.”
“We were both on ’60 Minutes,’ we were stablemates, and we did very well that night,” he said.
Trump contradicted his previous boasts in July 2016, however, saying that he “never met” Putin.
“He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius,” Trump said at a press conference. “I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it.”
Listen to the exchange below, beginning at 5:47: