I don't think he's wrong at all, but is it a good reason to "respect" Putin? Hell no.
But again, he's not wrong. There are a ton of people in power who do some pretty horrific things, including the US. I don't understand why anyone would be upset over what he said.
Why not? Respect Putin the way previous presidents were more than happy to respect Al Saud & Netanyahu. He just wants better relations with Russia, why is that so hard to swallow? The US is an ally to much worse regimes & countries.