Before and throughout his time in the White House, former President Donald Trump repeatedly praised authoritarian leaders while publicly berating U.S. allies.
Trump had his "love letters" with North Korea's Kim Jong Un and gave "high marks" to Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, but no adversary enjoyed more praise from Trump than Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The former President infamously sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence officials, believing Putin when he claimed Russia didn't attempt to interfere in the 2016 election to benefit Trump (they did). This praise would continue for years. Even after Putin's recent invasion of Ukraine, the fledgling democratic nation that broke from the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Trump praised Putin's strategy as "smart" and even "genius."
Now, Trump's former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has revealed to hosts of The View what Trump admired most about Putin.
Grisham claimed that Trump would be taking a "completely hands off approach" to Putin's invasion of Ukraine, further revealing that Trump told Putin "Hey, I'm gonna be tough on you in front of the cameras, you understand, and once the cameras are gone, we'll have a real conversation."
"I also think he admired [Putin] greatly. I think [Trump] wanted to be able to kill whoever spoke out against him. ... In my experience with him again, I'll just say, he loved the dictators. He loved the people who could kill anyone including the press."
People weren't surprised at Grisham's claims.
Others hadn't forgotten Grisham's time in the White House and her previous support for Trump.
Grisham is currently promoting a memoir about her time in the Trump administration.