Trump defends praise of Putin even as he calls Ukrainian president 'brave'

Former President Donald Trump defended his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday 

while also calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "a brave man" amid Russia's deadly invasion of his country.

"He's a brave man, he's hanging in," Trump said of Zelensky in remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference,

even as he declined to back away from complimenting Putin as "smart."

"The problem is not that Putin is smart, which, of course, he's smart," Trump said. "The problem is that our leaders are dumb... and so far

"Putin is playing [President Joe] Biden like a drum and it's not a pretty thing to watch," he continued.

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