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Durbin Trashes Trump, Compares Putin Favorably to Him as G-20 Summit Underway

• July 7, 2017 9:49 am

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Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) on Friday castigated President Donald Trump and compared Russian President Vladimir Putin favorably to him before the two leaders were set to meet at the G-20 summit in Germany.

"Senator, what's the most positive thing you have to say about Vladimir Putin and the most negative?" MSNBC's Mark Halperin asked Durbin on "Morning Joe."

Instead of giving one positive attribute, Durbin listed three and noted that Putin was more skilled than Trump in each area.

"Well, the most positive thing is he is gifted in his knowledge of history. Our president is not," Durbin said. "He certainly knows how to meet with foreign leaders and to push his agenda. Our president has limited experience in that. He knows the intelligence agencies of Russia since he was a member of the KGB for a period of time. Our president tends to deride his own intelligence actions and their findings, so he's in a strong hand in this negotiation compared to our president."

Durbin then shifted to discuss Putin's negative characteristics.

"In terms of his weakness, he, too, suffers from a form of Megalomania," Durbin said. "He is trying to restore a Soviet empire, which is long gone in history. He is intimidating a lot of his neighbors in a variety of different ways and it really is up to the United States of America to stand up to this tyrant."

Trump and Putin shook hands and exchanged pleasantries earlier on Friday morning at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. They will have their first bilateral meeting later in the day for a high-stakes discussion on a range of issues.