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Lewandowski: Putin Is a Fighter for His People

• September 9, 2016 8:35 am

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Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota Friday that Russian president Vladimir Putin has been a "fighter" for his people.

The remarks come amidst more pro-Putin comments by Trump at Wednesday night's Commander-in-Chief forum, when he said Putin was "a leader far more than our president."

"I think for his people, Vladimir Putin has been a fighter," Lewandowski said.

Before this, Lewandowski defended Trump for his praise of the Russian president.

"Corey, why does Donald Trump continue to praise Putin?" Camerota asked.

Lewandowski then compared Putin's influence on his population to that of President Obama's.

"Well, I think you heard what Mike Pence said," he said. "Vladimir Putin has had a stronger influence on his country than Barack Obama has had here. He's been a stronger leader."

Camerota asked Lewandowski if he actually believed that Putin is stronger than Obama.

"I think that for his people, Vladimir Putin has been a fighter and what he has done for his people is to say, ‘Look, there's an opportunity sometimes to work with what would be normally an adversary,’" he said. "What Donald Trump has said was, ‘Let's engage with Russia for a common goal, which is defeat ISIS.’"

When asked if Trump approves of dictatorship qualities that Putin has in his country, such as silencing the press, Lewandowski acknowledged that Putin has done some "terrible things."

"I think Vladimir Putin has done some terrible things, and there's been some speculation and conjecture of what's taken place inside the Kremlin," he said.

Camerota then asked why they praise him.

"What we do know, is when there are times to work together to beat the biggest crisis of our lifetime right now, which is ISIS, we should be working with our adversaries so they can become our friends," he said.