Stephen King’s Trump, Putin Comment Takes Off Online

Stephen King has referred to Vladimir Putin as Donald Trump’s “pal” after a Russian missile hit a children’s hospital in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, causing multiple casualties.

On Monday Russia launched one of its deadliest attacks of the year on Ukraine, its forces launching a barrage of missiles that hit targets across the country, including the Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv. At least 41 people were killed nationwide, according to the latest casualty figures.

When he was president, Trump’s reported links with Putin were subject to scrutiny. Trump has also praised Putin as “smart” and boasted about his good relations with the Russian leader, even claiming without providing details that he could end the war in Ukraine started by Putin within “24 hours.”

Now King—who has long been a vocal critic of Trump and frequently criticizes the Republican politician on social media—has shared his thoughts on the two men’s relationship.

“Trump’s pal Putin bombed a children’s hospital in Ukraine today. 37 killed,” the critically acclaimed author posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Monday.

Newsweek emailed spokespeople for King and Trump for comment on Thursday.

At the time of writing, the post had been viewed 7.9 million times and his comment has been divisive, with people both criticizing and supporting King.

Some X users have slammed the horror author for not similarly calling out Benjamin Netanyahu for bombing Gaza.

“Biden’s pal Netanyahu has bombed all of the children’s hospitals in Gaza. I’ve never seen a post by the morally degenerate Stephen King condemn Israel. How appalling is that,” one person posted.

“A selective moralist is no kind of moralist at all,” said another, alongside a screenshot of a search for the word “Gaza” on King’s X account returning no results.

“And you’re helping Trump to annihilate Ukraine if he’s elected by not standing by Joe. Shameful,” someone else posted. This refers to the fact that King was met with fierce backlash on Monday after he asked President Joe Biden to abandon his 2024 reelection campaign in a viral social media post.

Left, Donald Trump is seen at Aberdeen Airport in Scotland on May 1, 2023. Right, Vladimir Putin arrives at Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland on June 17, 2013. Inset, Stephen King is pictured in…

Jeff J Mitchell/Peter Muhly – WPA Pool/John Lamparski/Getty Images/WireImage

Others echoed King’s sentiment, with one person writing: “Putin is worst than the worst.”

“Never Trump,” someone else commented while another added: “Trump’s buddy is a soulless thug.”

King is an outspoken Democrat and in 2016 he was one of 450 writers to sign an open letter slamming Trump’s presidential candidacy.

In May, the author called Trump a “Crookedy-crook-crook-crook,” after the real-estate magnate was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records, reportedly to hide “hush money” payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels said that she and Trump had a one-night stand in 2006. The former president has denied the affair allegations and pleaded not guilty in the New York criminal trial.

This week, King said Biden was a “fine president” but said “it’s time” for him to step aside and make way for a new Democratic nominee.

Biden has repeatedly said that he will stay in this year’s presidential race despite being under increasing pressure to withdraw his candidacy following a widely panned performance in a debate with Trump last month.

Polling suggests that the presidential race remains essentially deadlocked despite continued calls from some for Biden to step aside.