Donald Trump has said that he misspoke when he described Joseph Stalin as an excellent strong leader.

Trump was replying to reporters who sought clarification after Russian sources said Trump had compared Putin favorably to Stalin. One source said, “Trump told Putin that he was happy to meet the latest in a long line of excellent strong Russian leaders going back to Joseph Stalin, the strongest of them all. He then said how, if Stalin was the man of steel then Putin was the man of titanium and Trump hoped that one day people would look on his leadership in the same favorable terms that they see Stalin and Putin.”

But in an interview Trump sought to clarify, “When I said strongest I misspoke. I meant to say strangest leader. Putin comes from a long line of strange leaders and he’s the strangest since Stalin.”

One US journalist said, “You have to look at everything else. If Trump meant to say strangest leader then why did he say he aims to emulate the strangest leader in Russia? It’s preposterous.”

Mr Trump has faced a barrage of criticism since he was spotted boarding Air Force One whilst wearing a Russian national football team shirt.

Our Russian source told us, “The meeting was very uncomfortable for Trump. Putin got the word, piss, in 448 times in 90 minutes.”

However, the Russian’s didn’t have it all their own way. “The football Putin gave him had a listening device in it. It seemed like a good idea but for 4 hours on the flight back to the US all we could hear was Melania urinating. Our best agent has been forced to get counselling. We’ve not heard anything that bad since the Banks-Farage hot tub party 2 years ago.”

Mr Trump refused to clarify comments that he made about journalists not being so lippy to Stalin.