As Putin eyes Ukraine invasion, Trump praises his actions as 'genius'

"This never would have happened" under his presidency, says Trump.

February 23, 2022, 12:43 PM

As Vladimir Putin steers Russia toward an invasion of Ukraine, former President Donald Trump is calling the actions of the Russian president "genius" and "savvy."

Trump's comments came Tuesday during an appearance on the conservative talk radio program "The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show," during which Trump praised the Russian president while simultaneously slamming President Joe Biden for the situation.

"You gotta say, that's pretty savvy," Trump said of Putin's decision to declare certain breakaway regions in Ukraine as independent, a move that has severely raised tensions on the Russian-Ukraine border. "And you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn't have one for that. No, it's very sad. Very sad."

"This is genius," Trump said. "Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine ... Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that's wonderful."

Biden announced Tuesday that Russia's latest moves amounted to "the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine," and said he would send additional U.S. troops to the region. The U.S. and other countries have imposed sanctions on Russia as Ukraine's top security official announced Wednesday that a nationwide state of emergency will be declared due to the threat of a Russian invasion.

Biden said Tuesday that the latest U.S. sanctions would target two Russian banks, Russia's sovereign debt, and members of the Russian elite and their relatives.

Republican leaders have been critical of Biden, saying his response to the situation has been too weak.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

Trump has long expressed an admiration for Putin, saying on Tuesday that as president, he got along "great" with the Russian leader.

"He liked me. I liked him. I mean, you know, he's a tough cookie, got a lot of great charm and a lot of pride," Trump said. "And he loves his country, you know? He loves his country."

"This never would have happened with us," Trump said of his administration. "He's acting a little differently I think now."

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