By Melissa Chan
December 20, 2015

Donald Trump doubled down on his defense of Vladimir Putin, saying on Sunday there’s no evidence the Russian president has had any political opponents and journalists killed.

“Nobody has proven that he’s killed anyone,” the Republican presidential front-runner said on ABC’s “This Week,” according to the Washington Post. “He’s always denied it. It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody.”

“You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country,” Trump added. “It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.”

The real estate magnate last week received praise from Putin, who called Trump “bright and talented.” The presidential hopeful had previously brushed off accusations that Putin has assassinated political adversaries and journalists.

Trump on Sunday also said he would “get along fine” with the Russian leader if elected. “If Putin respects me, and if Putin wants to call me brilliant … I’ll accept that, and I’ll accept it on behalf of our country,” he said.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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