CNN host can't believe her ears as Trump backer Corey Lewandowski lavishes praise on Putin
Corey Lewandowski (CNN/YouTube)

Corey Lewandowski, the former Donald Trump campaign manager turned CNN political analyst, showered praise on Vladimir Putin and shrugged off concerns over his tyrannical rule over Russia.

Trump praised the Russian president Wednesday during a "commander-in-chief forum" and went on Kremlin-funded RT the following day to criticize American foreign policy and defend Putin from charges that he was interfering in the U.S. election.

Alisyn Camerota asked Lewandowski, who pointed out he was still receiving severance pay from the Trump campaign, why his former boss continued to praise the Russian president.

"You hear what Mike Pence said, that Vladimir Putin has had a stronger influence on his country than Barack Obama has had here," Lewandowski said. "He's been a stronger leader."

Camerota incredulously asked Lewandowski whether he genuinely believed what he'd just said.

"You believe that?" she asked. "You believe that Vladimir Putin is stronger than President Obama?"

Lewandowski doubled down, as Hillary Clinton supporter Christine Quinn looked on in stunned amazement.

"I think that for his people, Vladimir Putin has been a fighter," Lewandowski said, "and what he has done for his people is to say, 'Look, there's an opportunity sometimes to work with our, what would normally be an adversary,' and what Donald Trump has said was, 'Let's engage with Russia for a common goal, which is to defeat ISIS.' That hasn't happened."

Camerota reminded Lewandowksi that Putin is a dictator, and she asked whether Trump believed in locking up his political opponents and shutting down the free press.

"Look, I think Vladimir Putin has done some terrible things, and there's been some speculation and conjecture of what's taken place inside the Kremlin," Lewandowski said. "What we do know is that, when there are times to work together to defeat the biggest crisis of our lifetime right now, which is ISIS, we should be working with our adversaries."

Watch the segment posted online by Washington Free Beacon: