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Ahead of an upcoming meeting with Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin told NBC News on Friday that the current president is "radically different" than his predecessor.

Why it matters: Trump faced accusations of cozying up to Putin while in office while Biden has pledged to take a hard-line approach against the Kremlin.

What he's saying: "Well even now, I believe that former U.S. president Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become U.S. President," Putin told NBC's Keir Simmons.

  • "He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. And, but he didn't come from the U.S. establishment, he had not been part of big time politics before, and some like it some don’t like it but that is a fact."
  • Biden, on the other hand, knows how to play the game, Putin said. He "is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics."
  • "It is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements, on behalf of the sitting U.S. president," Putin added.

Both Trump and Biden have called Putin a "killer" amid allegations of Putin's assassination orders. Asked if he is indeed a "killer," the Russian president hedged.

  • "Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext, and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness and none of it surprises me," Putin said, calling the accusation "Hollywood macho."
  • He bristled when Simmons named some Putin opponents who have been killed in recent years.
  • "Look, you know, I don't want to come across as being rude, but this looks like some kind of indigestion except that it's verbal indigestion. You've mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons, at the hands of different individuals," he said.

Go deeper

Swing voters' split feelings about Afghanistan

An Afghanistan flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 28. Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Some swing voters say they're deeply disappointed with the execution of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Yes, but: They don't believe former President Trump would have handled it better than President Biden, and the issue is far less important to them than getting the pandemic under control.

UN warns of "catastrophic" climate change failure without more emissions cuts

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.