On Tuesday, former President Trump endorsed Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling his strategy “wonderful” and “smart.”
Putin announced Thursday that Russia would be conducting a “special military action” in Ukraine.
Some veteran U.S. diplomats took to Twitter to condemn Trump’s support of Putin and the conflict.
Veteran US diplomats took to Twitter this week to condemn former President Trump after he expressed his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war strategy.
“I went in yesterday, and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine – of Ukraine – Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful, “Trump said on the” Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show Tuesday. ” “I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper. “
The Russian leader announced early Thursday morning that Russia would be conducting a “special military action” in Ukraine. The move came after Putin on Tuesday officially recognized the Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
“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,” Trump added. “They’re going to 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.”
Ivo Daalder, former US ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, disagreed.
“There’s nothing ‘savvy,’ ‘smart,’ or ‘genius’ about that. It’s evil. Pure and simple,” Daalder said on Twitter. He called Russia’s actions “an unprovoked, full-scale war against an independent country that poses no threat to Russia.”
“I knew Putin very well. I got along with him great. He liked me. I liked him,” Trump said. “I mean, you know, he’s a tough cookie, got a lot of great charm and a lot of pride. But the way he – and he loves his country, you know? He loves his country.”
Trump added that he and Putin used to discuss how he “wanted” Ukraine.
“I used to talk to him about it. I said, ‘You can’t do it. You’re not going to do it.’ But I could see that he wanted it. I used to ask him. We used to talk about it at length, “Trump said.
A retired Foreign Service officer, Steven Pifer, argued that if Trump were in office during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, “he’d be trying to blackmail Kyiv for his personal gain.”
Staunch conservatives such as right-wing FOX News pundit Tucker Carlson agree with Trump in praising Putin and are calling on the US not to act in Ukraine’s defense.
“It may be worth asking yourself, since it is getting pretty serious, what is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much?” said Carlson Tuesday. “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?”
Carlson, who hosts a top cable news show, also took digs at Alexander Vindman, former director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council, who urged the US to interfere with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Vindman, who is Ukrainian, responded in a Twitter thread saying Trump and Carlson alike are a “play on Russian state-run media on a loop.” He added, “You entice and embolden Putin.”
Russian troops sat at the borders of Ukraine for days before attacking – therefore marking the first European war in years. Thousands of lives are at stake.
“There is good and there is evil in this world. Those now praising Putin, showing respect for Putin, calling Putin a genius, are going to regret those words once this horrific war begins,” Michael McFaul, former United States Ambassador to Russia, tweeted Wednesday.
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