But in a 2013 interview that keeps resurfacing, he told another story.
“I do have a relationship and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today,” Trump told MSNBC. “He’s probably very interested in what you and I are saying today, and I’m sure he’s going to be seeing it in some form.”
The interview was conducted in Moscow, where Trump’s Miss Universe pageant was being held at the time.
Trump addressed those comments in an interview last year with ABC News by parsing the word “relationship.”
“What do you call a relationship? I mean he treats me with great respect,” he said.
He added: “Well, I don’t know what it means by having a relationship. I mean he was saying very good things about me, but I don’t have a relationship with him. I didn’t meet him. I haven’t spent time with him. I didn’t have dinner with him. I didn’t go hiking with him.”
However, Trump also said in 2014 that he “spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin” and told a radio interviewer in 2015 that he met Putin “a long time ago” and “got along with him great.” He also said last year that he “got to know [Putin] very well because we were both on ‘60 Minutes.’”