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Trump Distinguishes Himself From Putin: 'I Hate Reporters, But I Won't Kill Them'

GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ) -- Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump rallied his supporters in Grand Rapids Monday evening, speaking to a filled room at the DeltaPlex Arena.

Among many topics, Trump spoke about controversy over some praise he gave Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"And then they said he [Putin] has killed reporters and I don't like that, I'm totally against that," Trump said. "By the way, I hate some of these people, but I'd never kill them -- I hate them. These people, honestly, I would never kill them."

The comments came after Trump was involved in a heated interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

"But, in all fairness to Putin, you're saying he killed people, I haven't seen that. I don't know that he has. Have you been able to prove that?" Trump said to Stephanopoulos. "I'm saying when you say a man has killed reporters, I'd like you to prove it. And I'm saying it would be a terrible thing if it were true. But I have never seen any information or any proof that he killed reporters."

Trump was met mostly with support in Grand Rapids, though two people from the crowd were taken away by security, one shouting that Trump is a "bigot."

Trump said that he thinks he can win over some of the people over who disagree with him.

"I really believe that I could talk to them and say, 'look, we want to make our country good, we want to bring back spirit, we want to bring back our jobs from places that have been ripping us off,'" Trump said to the crowd of over 7,000. "we want to take care of our country and you go through point by point, whether you're a Democrat, a liberal, a conservative, a Republican -- it's all the same.

"Don't you think that would be a positive thing?" Trump asked.

Trump has also been touting recent polls keeping him at the top of the race. He has raised just over $11,000 in Michigan during his campaign, good enough for 10th among Republican hopefuls.

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