Jeb Bush said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin's endorsement of his opponent Donald Trump showed that Putin was "playing" America "the way that Trump plays the press."
The former Florida Gov. made the comment on Michael Medved's radio show, after the host asked him about the Russian leader's endorsement of Bush's GOP rival.
"I think Putin is playing with us like a Stradivarius," Bush said, starting to apply the same analogy to Putin that he applied to Trump earlier this month. "He's playing us, America, the way that Trump plays the press. This is all a game for these guys. But we have a stake in the Middle East. We can't pull back. We can't ban all Muslims coming into our country and expect to create a coalition which would be essential for the long-term stability of Syria and Iraq."
Bush also criticized what he called Trump's apparent affinity for Putin.
"And his proposals are just crazy," Bush said of Trump. "I mean, to say that you get your military advice from the shows. To suggest that Hillary Clinton would do a good job negotiating with Iran, better than anybody else. These are the things that he's said. He has a strong feeling of apparently affinity towards Vladimir Putin, one of the great despots of our time."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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