Vladimir Putin, Russia
Trump has infamously never said an unkind word about Putin, a leader known for human rights abuses, since becoming a candidate for president. As a candidate, Trump repeatedly called Putin a stronger leader than President Barack Obama. "You can say, 'Oh, isn’t that a terrible thing,' I mean, the man has very strong control over his country," Trump said at a national security forum in 2016
. "Now it's a very different system, and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly in that system he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader."