Dmitry Kostyukov / AFP

Endorsement of the day: Putin deems Trump “unquestionably talented.”

Trump has previously pointed out his own synergies with Putin—“He doesn’t respect Obama at all,” Trump said in October, “But I think that I would probably get along with him very well”—and now the Russian president has reciprocated. “He is the absolute leader of the presidential race,” Putin told journalists at an annual press conference in Moscow. 

But Putin didn’t want to endorse Trump’s “manner of speaking”—his infamous put downs—or the tactics that “he employs to raise his popularity.”