President Donald Trump, pictured above meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Osaka, Japan, on Tuesday saluted Russia’s move to recognize the independence of two breakaway regions of Ukraine as “genius” while the deployed invading forces troops into the rebel-held territory.
In an interview with the conservative “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton” radio show, Trump said he was impressed by the news of Putin’s actions.
“Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said. “So Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ ”
Trump said Putin will now “go in” to Ukraine “and be a peacekeeper.”
Trump was flabbergasted by the audacity Vladimir Putin’s declaration of independence for two Ukrainian provinces but not surprised, according to New York Post Columnist and FoxNews Contributor Michael Goodwin.
“I got along great with Putin,” Trump said, according to the Post. “I like him, I respect him. He’s doing his thing, but our people aren’t doing theirs.”
“That’s strongest peace force. … We could use that on our southern border,” he said. “That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy. … I know him very well. Very, very well.”
Reflecting Trump’s warm posture toward Russia and anti-interventionist sentiments in the modern GOP, rejecting the tough-on-Russia rhetoric that once defined the Republican Party.
Republicans running in high-profile primary races are not racing to defend Ukraine against the Russian invasion and they are instead settling on a different line of attack: Blame Biden, not Putin.
The former president then went on to say that Russia’s incursion “would have never happened” if he had been in office, and accused President Joe Biden of failing to respond to Putin’s aggression.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed Trump’s comments Tuesday evening.
“As a matter of policy, we try not to take advice from anyone who praises President Putin and his military strategy, which I believe is what happened there,” said Psaki. “So there’s a bit of a different tactic. … And that’s probably why President Biden and not his predecessor was able to rally the world and the global community and taking steps against Russia’s aggression.”
When Putin carved up parts of Georgia in 2008, and in 2014 when he invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula, what he saw from the international community was weakness.