Romney bashes Trump over Putin praise

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tore into Donald Trump Friday morning after the GOP 2016 front-runner touted his support from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The former Massachusetts governor took issue with an answer from Trump to host Joe Scarborough on Friday's "Morning Joe," in which he said that, "I think our country does plenty of killing also" when asked about Putin's record of human rights abuse and reported killings of political enemies.

"Important distinction: thug Putin kills journalists and opponents," Romney tweeted. "Our presidents kill terrorists and enemy combatants."

Trump also spoke glowingly of Putin's semi-endorsement, telling host Mika Brzezinski that it's "always good" when someone calls you "brilliant." He also remarked that Putin is "a leader, unlike what we have in this country."

The comments from Trump and Romney came on the heels of remarks Thursday from the Russian president, in which he called Trump a "very talented man" and an "absolute leader."