The US election campaign has plunged to new a level of accusation and toxicity after Donald Trump claimed Russian leader Vladimir Putin had no respect for Barack Obama and appeared to imply he used a racial epithet to describe the American president. He also encouraged Russia to hack the emails of his election rival Hillary Clinton.
In comments that were extreme even by the standards Mr Trump, the Republican candidate was asked by reporters in Florida about the controversy surrounding the alleged Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails.
Mr Trump said Mr Putin had neither respect or affection for Mr Obama. He implied that he had heard the Russian leader use a racial slur to describe the US president.Trump talking Putin goes from “he called Obama the n-word” to “I hope he likes me” in 20 seconds.
“I was shocked to hear him mention the N-word,” said Mr Trump, who has previously spoken of his admiration for the Russian leader. “You know what the N-word is.”