Much of the world waits in horror at what Russia will do the Ukraine. Under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the nation has threatened to invade the neighboring nation and former Soviet territory, sending troops into Russian-friendly areas of the country under the guise of “peacekeepers.” Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as countries worldwide, have condemned Putin’s actions. One exception, of course, is Donald Trump.
The former U.S. president, who has long praised the authoritarian leader known for human rights violations, went on a radio show hosted conservative talk show host Buck Sexton. There, he seemed in awe, even jealous of the aggression Putin has displayed.
“I went in yesterday, and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius,'” Trump told Sexton. “Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful.”
“I said, ‘How smart is that?’ He’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper,” added Trump, who regularly praised and sought close ties with Putin during his time in office. “That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep peace, all right.”
Conservatives, though no doubt miffed that Trump has made it harder for them to condemn Putin’s actions, have remained silent on the matter. Democrats, however, are unafraid to speak up. One of them was Jen Psaki, current White House press secretary, who reminded people why it’s a good thing Trump lost re-election in 2020.
Psaki on Trump praising Putin's moves into Ukraine: "Well, as a matter of policy, we try not to take advice from anyone who praises President Putin." pic.twitter.com/LIjOzcZiG2
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 22, 2022
“As a matter of policy we do not take advice from anybody that praises President Putin and his military strategy, which I believe is what happened there, expresses an openness to lifting sanctions about the seizing of territories in Crimea, or at any point in time told leaders at the G7 that Crimea is a part of Russia, regardless if they are a former president,” Psaki told reporters. “It’s a bit of a different approach, and that’s probably why President Biden and not his predecessor was able to rally the world and the global community in taking steps against Russia’s aggression.”
Her comments were reflected all over social media. Trump’s comments were met with widespread disdain — again, not amongst Republicans. Some weren’t exactly surprised.
The only thing unpredictable in Trump’s approach to Putin was whether he’d kiss Putin’s feet or Putin’s ass.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) February 22, 2022
Some made jokes.
“That Hitler fella may be a bad egg but he sure showed the Sudetenland he means business!”
Trump praises Putin's 'genius' plan to invade Ukraine: 'You gotta say that’s pretty savvy' https://t.co/IABxQM135Z
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 22, 2022
Don from Queens, you’re on @WFAN660:
“And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper…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”
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 22, 2022
Meanwhile, Republicans tried desperately to spin Trump’s comments.
Fox frantically trying to spin Trump calling Putin a “genius,” claiming only said it because he is playing 4D chess and just trolling the media. pic.twitter.com/slcfMEPOwT
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) February 23, 2022