Back in December, Putin called Trump a “a very colorful and talented man,” a compliment that the candidate inflated to being called "a genius." Trump meanwhile said he prefers Putin's authoritarian leadership style over President Barack Obama's approach. A YouGov poll conducted in April showed that Russians prefer Trump over his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by 21 points.
Trump has several ties to Russia, including previously seeking out investors in the country and his campaign manager's work with pro-Putin former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Trump has also called into question America's commitment to NATO, a position that strengthens Moscow.
Russia in turn hasbeen accused of attempting to tip the scales in the US election for Trump by turning over hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee to Wikileaks as a way to damage Clinton.