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Russian President Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images

In a series of interviews with Russian state television, detailed by the AP, Russian President Vladimir Putin showered President Trump in compliments, calling him a "great communicator" and noting he "made a very good impression on me."

Yes, but: Putin said the U.S. political system is a different story.

"[The U.S. political system] has demonstrated its inefficiency and has been eating itself up... It’s quite difficult to interact with such a system, because it’s unpredictable."
— Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday

Highlights:

  • The rift between Russia and the West: "We are a great power, and no one likes competition," said Putin. He later added, “Those who serve us with poison will eventually swallow it and poison themselves."
  • Russia's growing power: "If we play strongly with weak cards, it means the others are just poor players, they aren’t as strong as it seemed, they must be lacking something.”
  • Russia's expanding nuclear arsenal: “If someone makes a decision to destroy Russia, then we have a legitimate right to respond... Yes, it will mean a global catastrophe for mankind, for the entire world. But as a citizen of Russia and the head of Russian state I would ask: What is such a world for, if there were no Russia?”

Go deeper

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has be charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

4 hours ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.