In New Audio, Trump Reveals How He Really Feels About Dictators

In newly released audio recordings from a 2020 interview, former President Donald Trump admitted he preferred world leaders “the tougher and meaner they are.”

“I like Putin. Our relationship should be a very good one. I campaigned on getting along with Russia, China and everyone else,” Trump told veteran journalist Bob Woodward in a Jan. 2020 interview, according to CNN, which obtained a copy. “Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing, all right? Especially because they have 1,332 nuclear fucking warheads.”

“It’s funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. You know?” Trump added. “Explain that to me someday, okay. But maybe it’s not a bad thing. The easy ones are the ones I maybe don’t like as much or don’t get along with as much.”

He also spoke about his relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“I get along very well with Erdogan, even though you’re not supposed to because everyone says what a horrible guy,” Trump said. “But you know for me it works out good.”

Trump routinely touted his good relationship with authoritarian leaders throughout his presidency, while alienating allies such as Canada, France and Germany.

Woodward is releasing the tapes from 20 interviews he conducted with Trump from 2016 to 2020 as a new audiobook, titled “The Trump Tapes.” CNN released excerpts from the audiobook after obtaining an advance copy.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.