Former US President Donald Trump, in an exclusive interview to NDTV, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "doing a terrific job" and that India "has never had a better friend than me", while giving the broadest hint yet that he may be running for office again in 2024.
"Everyone wants me to run, I am leading in the polls...I'll make a decision in the very near future, I suspect," Donald Trump said in the interview recorded at his exclusive golf club in Bedminster near New York.
Asked whether he felt he had a better relationship with India than others like President Joe Biden or Barack Obama, Donald Trump told NDTV: "You'll have to ask Prime Minister Modi, but I don't think you've never had a better relationship than you had with President Trump."
Trump talked about the huge support he had from the Indian community and his relationship with PM Modi, with whom he addressed big events in the US and India during his presidency.
"I've had a great relationship to India and to Prime Minister Modi. We were we've been friends. And I think he's a great guy and doing a terrific job. It's not an easy job he's got. So but we've known each other a long time. Good man," he said.
On the possibility of a Trump 2.0 and his priorities when it comes to America and India, the former President said: "For America, energy independence. For India, India's doing just fine with your great Prime Minister Modi, my friend. For America, I can only speak for America, we're going to be energy independent, we're going to have a great economy, roaring economy again, which we don't have right now. Okay, we set every record on jobs. We've never had an economy, like the economy that I had. But we'll bring back energy independence, and we will do things that we haven't been able to do in the last two years."
He described his ties with India as one of the strong relationships he formed in office.
"I think India has never had a better friend than me. That's one of the relationships that I've formed. India has never had a better friend as President than me."
In September 2019, months after PM Modi was re-elected, he and President Trump jointly addressed a massive "Howdy, Modi" rally in Houston, Texas, attended by thousands of Indian Americans. PM Modi famously said "Abki baar, Trump Sarkaar" in that event.
Five months later, Trump visited PM Modi's home state Gujarat, where the two hugged warmly and addressed a mega gathering at a new cricket stadium.