President-elect Donald Trump "is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world's leading countries," said Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview aired Sunday. "Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if [he is] a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions," Putin added.
Trump has been accused of undue friendliness toward Putin, particularly considering alleged Russian hacking to influence the U.S. election. Before Sunday's remarks, Trump liked to quote a mistranslated Putin comment in which Trump believed the Russian president called him "brilliant." But a better translation than "brilliant" would be "vivid" or "colorful;" the Russian word Putin used means "bright," yet does not carry the English meaning of "intelligent."