Vladimir Putin had this to say about Donald Trump in his 2015 December press conference: "He is an absolute leader in the presidential race." Now that Trump has won that race, the Russian president had more to say about him and US politics in this year's edition of the annual news conference: Democrats "need to learn to lose with dignity." He was dismissive when asked about Russian interference in the election during the nearly 4-hour televised event Friday, but noted Republicans won both the House and the Senate. "Did we do that, too?" he said, per the Washington Post. "Democrats are losing on every front and looking for people to blame everywhere." The reality is that Trump accurately gauged America's mood and "kept going until the end, when nobody believed in him," he said. Then a smile and this: "Except for you and me."
Putin added "it's not important who did the hacking, it's important that the information that was revealed was true," referring to the Democratic National Committee's apparent preference for Hillary Clinton. At the Guardian, Shaun Walker gives his assessment: "Not the liveliest" of Putin's 12 such press conferences, and not much in the way of big reveals, as he was "evasive" when asked about moving up 2018 elections, a high-profile murder trial, and Russian corruption cases. But "he looked confident, assured, and like he’s not going anywhere soon. And he couldn’t resist that little jibe" about always believing Trump would emerge the victor.