'Whatever I said I meant' Bernie Ecclestone defends controversial Putin remark

Bernie Ecclestone spoke out on Piers Morgan Uncensored this evening following his appearance on Good Morning Britain. The former F1 boss said he would “still take a bullet” for the Russian leader Vladimir Putin when asked whether he was still considered a friend. Piers asked the sporting star whether he “regretted” what he said, with Ecclestone responding: “Whatever I said, I meant”.

Former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone defended Putin over the war in Ukraine.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday morning, Ecclestone claimed Putin “believed he was doing the right thing for Russia”.

That evening, he was grilled by Piers Morgan over his remarks and the TalkTV host asked if Ecclestone had any regrets.

The ex-F1 boss started off by claiming he could not remember what he said in the GMB interview.

Piers refreshed his memory by reading out his comments and Ecclestone defended himself.

READ MORE: Ecclestone’s Putin praise becomes focus of Russia propaganda

“It’s like a boxing match, after a boxing match everyone is loving each other.”

Piers was still taken aback by Ecclestone’s response, saying he is one of the most powerful and influential figures in sport.

The host said: “What you say carries huge weight, I find it completely baffling that you find it the right time to say Vladimir Putin is a ‘first-class person’.”

Reflecting on Putin’s involvement in the war, Ecclestone explained: “I’m a little disappointed in the actions that have been taken.

“But what was the alternative? Either he pulls out or the other people surrender.”

Piers responded: “Your use of language is extraordinary, a little disappointed he is murdering innocent people?”

He went on to ask: “Could it be possible he pulled the wool over your eyes?”

Ecclestone replied: “I suppose looking at what’s happened, you could sum it up in that way.”

“If that is the case, why would you still take a bullet for him?” Piers asked.

Ecclestone reiterated how “it’s an expression”, whilst Piers called the claim an “emphatic endorsement” to Putin.

At the end of the interview, Ecclestone said he was “terribly sorry” about what has happened in Ukraine and he is in the process of raising funds for the victims of the war. 

Piers Morgan Uncensored airs daily on TalkTV at 8pm.

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