Censor.NET reports citing NBC News.
Trump noted Putin had an "82 percent approval rating," predicted he would have a "very very good relationship" with Putin, and compared Putin favorably to Obama.
"The man has very strong control over a country," Trump said of Putin. "It's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly, in that system, he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader."
Trump said he would not be influenced by Putin's praise of him as "brilliant" (Putin denied a report he used the phrase) on a policy level, but also indicated he would repay it in kind on a personal level.
"If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him," Trump said.
The U.S. presidential election is to be held Nov. 8, 2016.