>> Russia's president has leapt to the defense of his US counterpart Donald Trump, hurling accusations at the Americans' opponents and lamenting what he called the quote, spy-mania, gripping Washington. The Trump campaign is being investigated for collusion with Russia.>>
> This is the most important problem of those who would like to become a competitive opposition. They need to offer a real not a fictional and screamy agenda but a real one.
This is strange to me, if I'm absolutely honest with you. The people who do this do it as if they are unaware they are dealing upload to the state of domestic politics in the country.>> Vladimir Putin was speaking at his annual year end news conference in Moscow.
Asked by a reporter what he thought about Trump's record in office, Putin says it wasn't for him to judge. But that he, quote, saw significant achievements from the Trump administration. However, he did warn that a US strike on North Korea would have catastrophic consequences and that both sides have to stop escalating the situation.
The president focused on issues in his own country as well, appearing to blame political opponents for a lack of genuine opposition.>>
The one that people would believe in. I hope that it will appear, and the sooner, the better.>> Putin refused to give details of his election manifesto, but did reiterate he will run as an independent candidate in next year's presidential election.