Trump Condemns Russia’s Assault on Ukraine and Says he is Praying for Ukrainians

 Trump Condemns Russia’s Assault on Ukraine and Says he is Praying for Ukrainians

© AP Photo / Evan Vucci

Former President Donald Trump condemned Russia’s assault on Ukraine on Saturday and said he was praying for Ukrainians, a sharp contrast to his past admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s remarks at the CPAC conservative conference in Florida came just hours after the US and its allies announced fresh sanctions that would bar some Russian banks from major global payment networks and limit Russia’s central bank’s ability to defend the rouble.

Trump used his speech to blast Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and hint at a possible presidential run in 2024, speaking to an adoring crowd at an event that touts itself as the world’s largest conservative gathering.

Trump irked several Republicans by calling Putin’s actions in Ukraine “genius” and “pretty savvy.” Cities have been pounded with Russian artillery and cruise missiles.

Trump expressed empathy for Ukrainians and praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, calling him “brave” for staying in Kyiv, the capital.

“The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling. We are praying for the proud people of Ukraine. God bless them all,” Trump said.

As per News.Rthk, Trump claimed that Putin used Biden being “weak” to attack Ukraine. He further linked the incursion to the US presidential election in 2020, a fixation of his, falsely claiming that Biden’s victory was due to fraud.

“As everyone understands, this horrific disaster would never have happened if our election was not rigged and if I was the president,” he said, to which a woman in the packed audience responded: “You are the president!”

Trump hasn’t said whether he’ll run for president in 2024, but he’s been heavily hinting at it recently, and he did so again on Saturday.

“On November 2024, they (Democrats) will find out like never before. We did it twice, and we’ll do it again. We’re going to be doing it again, a third time,” Trump said.

Democratic lawyer Marc Elias tweeted that Trump’s words should trigger a “series of legal requirements related to his spend and disclosures.”

Trump’s fundraising operations have brought in moreover US$100 million, and he is staging rallies across the country.

Trump also cited Russia’s invasion of Georgia under George W. Bush and Crimea under Barack Obama before declaring: “I stand as the only president of the 21st century on whose watch Russia did not invade another country.”

Trump did address his previous admiration for Putin, claiming that he was correct in suggesting that Putin was clever since he was outfoxing world leaders and Nato.

“The real problem is that our leaders are dumb, dumb. So dumb,” he said.

Trump’s comments were criticized by The Democratic National Committee. “The defeated former president took the stage at CPAC to double down on his shameless praise for Putin,” it said in a statement.

In an interview released earlier on Saturday, Biden mocked Trump’s comment that Putin was a “genius.”

“I put as much stock in Trump saying that Putin is a genius than when he called himself a stable genius,” Biden said.

The line that Putin attacked Ukraine because he thought Biden was “weak” has been echoed by conservatives at the CPAC convention in Orlando, Florida, which closes on Sunday.

However, Republican legislators have largely avoided praising Putin, and domestic concerns such as mask mandates have received considerably more attention than international policy.

JD Vance, a Republican Senate candidate in Ohio, said earlier on Saturday that the American political class was preoccupied with the Ukraine situation to the detriment of problems closer to home, such as record border crossings.

“I’m sick of being told that we have to care more about people 6,000 miles away than we do people like my mom, and my grandparents, and all the kids who are affected by this crisis,” said Vance, a venture capitalist, and author. (Reuters)

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