Former President Trump anointed himself a savior of the Ukraine resistance, a week after he called President Vladimir Putin a “genius,” “smart,” and a “peacekeeper” as Russian troops invaded separatist-backed regions in Ukraine.
During an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News on Wednesday, Trump bragged about supplying Ukraine with weapons and military aid when he was president. “[Russia] is in much deeper than they thought, to a certain extent because of the weapons that I gave, and that the Ukrainians used so well … amazing,” he said.
Trump says Ukraine is fighting well because of him: “Because of the weapons that I gave, and that the Ukrainians used so well .. amazing.” Then says we “have to work out a deal” with Russia, but they won’t because “they don’t respect the US” since he left office. pic.twitter.com/K0e1ZKoty2
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) March 2, 2022
Trump just last week called Putin a “genius” for sending tanks into eastern Ukraine. “That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen,” the former president said on a conservative podcast. “There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep the peace all right. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy … I know him very well. Very, very well.”
Despite his praise of Putin, Trump on Wednesday called the Russian president’s attack on a sovereign nation “a holocaust.” Russia has “to stop killing these people,” he told Bartiromo, saying that a “deal” might bring the conflict to an end.
“You have to work out a deal,” he said. “They have to stop killing these people. They’re killing all of these people, and they have to stop it, and they have to stop it now. But they don’t respect the United States and the United States is like, I don’t know, they’re not doing anything about it. This is a — this is a holocaust. This is a horrible thing that’s happening. You’re witnessing and you’re seeing it on television every night.”
“I think Russia, something could be done with them, because they are not looking so good,” Trump added. “But they don’t respect the United States, they aren’t doing anything about it.”
Trump has flip flopped frequently in recent weeks. In addition to praising Putin before backing Ukraine, he also gave himself credit for NATO’s existence, even though as president he threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the organization. “There would be no NATO if I didn’t act strongly and swiftly,” Trump said in a Monday statement. He also bragged about the weapons he reluctantly provided to Ukraine. “It was me that got Ukraine the very effective anti-tank busters (Javelins) when the previous Administration was sending blankets,” he wrote. “Let History so note!”
While the former president seems to fancy himself savvy in international relations, his former national security advisor, John Bolton, cast doubt on Trump’s knowledge of the region and his influence on Putin during his administration. “[Trump] barely knew where Ukraine was,” Bolton said in a recent appearance on far-right network Newsmax.
John Bolton pushes back on Newsmax host: "[Trump] barely knew where Ukraine was…It's just not accurate to say that Trump's behavior somehow deterred the Russians" pic.twitter.com/ICRmmeJ8C3
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 1, 2022
Bolton also dismissed Trump’s claim that Putin wouldn’t have invaded if he were still president.
“This horrific disaster would never have happened if our election was not rigged and if I was the president,” Trump told the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend.
“It’s just not accurate to say that Trump’s behavior somehow deterred the Russians,” Bolton said.