Russian President Vladimir Putin recently held a “town hall” session (for lack of a better term) with a group of Russian citizens where the crowd had the opportunity to ask him questions and get seemingly off-the-cuff responses.
One of the most interesting moments in the appearance came when one man asked Putin to describe what it was like meeting with President Donald Trump.
Putin responded with some surprising observations that border-lined on outright praise coming from the Russian strongman.
Question: “You met with Donald Trump recently. It would be interesting to hear your impression of him as a person.”
Putin: “I would tell you more if there were no journalists here. But since we are not alone, you know what can I say for sure? That I haven’t already said in my press conference in Germany. Is that he is quite an open person, and he is very different from the TV image that he created during the election campaign. However, there is nothing unusual here, since the election campaign is not something you judge a person by. An election campaign requires a special mindset and behavior. What I also noticed, and could share with you, this is not secret, but it surprised me a little. I did not expect this and I believe it is very important for person who has a public profile, a politician, he has the ability to listen. At least this is what our conversation was like. I do not know what he is like with the other people he talks to… You know this is not something that happens all the time, for a person who works with people, who is involved with politics, I reiterate, this is a vitally important ability, to be able to listen and to respond and communicate promptly. You have to have substantial experience, I believe. There are some people who hear only themselves, whatever you tell them — it is like a buzz in the background for them. You are talking but they are not listening at all. The current US president is different: he responds to what his interlocutor says, to the arguments, and responds to them. Even if he does not like something, or does not agree with something, he asks questions and responds to arguments. This is very important. I believe this is a positive quality. And if this dialogue between us continues in this way on the interpersonal level, as you said, there is reason to hope that our communication will further develop.”