“Though they accused him of special ties to Russia, it was complete nonsense, total bullshit, and he more than anything imposed sanctions on Russia,” Mr. Putin said. “So what to expect in the future, regardless of who is president, is difficult to say. But it’s unlikely anything will change definitively, because the current government has configured American society in such an anti-Russian manner and spirit.”
In the United States, where Republicans are competing for their party’s presidential nomination — with Mr. Trump considered to be far ahead — several leading G.O.P. figures rejected Mr. Putin’s criticism.
“America’s founding principles will always stand the test of time, and Vladimir Putin’s opinion of our constitutional republic holds no value in the United States,” former Vice President Mike Pence said in a statement. “Putin should be more concerned about how quickly his military went from being the second most powerful in the world to the second most powerful in Ukraine.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is a strong supporter of both Mr. Trump and of American aid to Ukraine, said in an interview that the prosecutions taking place against Mr. Trump were “part of democracy.” He said that some parts of the American system were being “run off the rails,” but that the people in charge would have to answer to voters.