After Praising Him, Trump Is Now Claiming He’s ‘Surprised’ Putin Invaded Ukraine: ‘I Think He’s Changed’

During his one-term presidency, Donald Trump cozied up to a lot of authoritarians. Along with being North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s pen pal, he got along swimmingly with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The two were so tight that when he invaded Ukraine nearly four weeks ago, the former U.S. president thought nothing of publicly calling the move “savvy” and “genius.” Since then, even those in his circle have begged him to stop heaping praise upon the deeply unpopular world leader. And now he has, sort of.

In a new interview with The Washington Examiner, Trump tried to back-pedal his comments a bit, expressing shock rather than respect.

“I’m surprised — I’m surprised. I thought he was negotiating when he sent his troops to the border. I thought he was negotiating,” Trump told the publication. “I thought it was a tough way to negotiate but a smart way to negotiate,” he added, not able to resist slipping in a compliment anyway.

Trump then tried to rewrite history, contradicting past comments in which he praised the invasion. “I figured he was going to make a good deal like everybody else does with the United States and the other people they tend to deal with — you know, like every trade deal. We’ve never made a good trade deal until I came along,” Trump asserted. “And then he went in — and I think he’s changed. I think he’s changed. It’s a very sad thing for the world. He’s very much changed.”

But what will Putin think? Perhaps he’ll see through someone who mere days before this Washington Examiner interview was given the chance to denounce him — by Sean Hannity, no less — and simply couldn’t.

(Via Washington Examiner)