Even before critics had a chance to see Oliver Stone's new documentary - a series of in-depth interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin airing on Showtime there were plenty of signs that the director would be uncomfortably sympathetic to his authoritarian subject.
Stone, who is producing his own documentary of the Russian leader, complimented Kelly's appearance and questioning, but trashed the "machine-gun like" pace of the interview.
When Stone asked him about a discriminatory law that prevented gay "propaganda" to minors, Putin said, "there are no restrictions, whatsoever", but when the director asked him if he would take a shower in a submarine next to a gay man, the Russian Federation despot laughed and said, "Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him". I mean, why provoke him?
Pressed about the James Comey firing, Putin said that there was no effect in Russian Federation and that Palmer's question "looks very amusing for me". When asked whether he would be comfortable showering next to a gay man, he said no.
"I am not a woman, so I don't have bad days", Bloomberg reported Putin as saying to filmmaker Oliver Stone. In any event, he reportedly went on to clarify that he was, in fact, discussing "natural cycles". "In a hot war is the United States dominant?"
Both the Kelly and Stone interviews were criticized for lacking toughness in tackling Putin for alleged human-rights abuses and other evidence of dictatorial behavior.
It was not immediately clear how Putin answered, though he has repeatedly denied the accusation.
Many criticised Kelly's interview for not pressing Putin hard enough on some of his accusations - which included a claim that the U.S. had possibly orchestrated the assassination of President John F Kennedy. Putin says claims about Russian involvement in US elections are untrue, and says the United States actively interferes with elections in other countries.
'There are no restrictions whatsoever, ' Putin told Stone. "He didn't betray the interests of his country". While Putin expounds on favourite subjects including United States geopolitical overreach, he's also shown staring stone-faced at the classic Cold War doomsday satire Dr Strangelove.
These themes emerge in his interviews with Stone as well, according to excerpts that have been released online in advance.