Trump Says 'Great Honor' to Get Compliments from 'Highly Respected' Putin

PHOTO: Donald Trump, left, appears on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show, Dec. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference, Dec. 17, 2015, in Moscow.PlayGetty Images
WATCH Vladimir Putin Praises Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump seems to have a new fan in his corner –- Vladimir Putin -- and the real estate mogul thinks it was a "great honor" to get compliments from the Russian leader.

Speaking to ABC News earlier today, the Russian leader said Trump is “a very colorful person. Talent, with any doubt," Putin said.

"But it’s not our affair to determine his worthiness - that’s up to the United States," Putin added. "But he is absolutely the leader in the presidential race. He wants to move to a different level of relations, to more solid, deeper relations with Russia and how can Russia not welcome that – we welcome that.”

Trump tells ABC News in a statement that “it is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

"I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect,” Trump’s statement continued.

On the campaign trail, Trump has often said he thinks he could have a good relationship with the Russian leader. He has also called Putin his “stable mate” since both were featured on the same episode of a recent edition of CBS’ "60 Minutes."