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Russian president Vladimir Putin said President Trump was of no interest to him before the 2016 election and that Trump was just “a rich person” in the United States in a Monday interview.

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“There are many theories in the United States about why President Trump is so reluctant to criticize you, and Id like to ask you about a couple of them. One is that you have something on him, kompromat. The other is that, as a skilled politician and a former KGB officer, you know how to play him. You use phrases like fake news and deep state. And my question is: do you find President Trump easy to deal with?” asked Fox News host Chris Wallace.

Putin responded, “Well, the first point Im about to make is — why did we take, talk about like, polite people? Why should this come as a surprise? Was it worth going all the way to Helsinki, going through the Atlantic, to just insult one another and — well, its not exactly the diplomatic standard in the world. There is no need to go and meet a person if you just want to insult another person. We met to try to find a way for improving our relationship and not aggravating it or destroying it completely.

“And the second part of the answer is whether we have something on them. We dont have anything on them, and there cant be anything on them. I dont want to insult President Trump when I say this — and I may come as rude — but before he announced that he will run for presidency, he was of no interest for us,” Putin continued. “He was a rich person, but, well, theres plenty of rich persons in the United States. He was in the construction business. He organized the beauty pageants. But no, it would never occur to anyone that he would think of running for president. He never mentioned his political ambitions. It sounds like its utter nonsense.”

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