Former President Donald Trump reacted to the beginning of Russia’s attack on Ukraine by claiming that such a conflict could have been avoided if he were in the Oval Office.
Touting his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump also noted late Wednesday evening that he urged Western Europe to stay away from Russian energy sources.
“This is something that should have never happened. This would not have happened during my administration,” he told host Laura Ingraham on Fox News, adding, “And it’s a very sad thing for the world for the country. And it’s certainly very sad for a lot of people that are going to be needlessly killed.”
“I know [Putin] very well. We’ve had many, many times together. I got along with him fantastically despite the fact that I shut down Nord Stream 2,” he continued.
Trump said if former German Chancellor Angela Merkel had avoided becoming reliant on Russian energy, Putin wouldn’t feel like he had leverage to launch an invasion. Additionally, the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan weakened Putin’s fears of U.S. retaliation, he said.
“[Putin] saw the weakness,” Trump said. “It really started, I think, with the weakness in Afghanistan and the way they pulled out of Afghanistan. I really believe that’s where he started thinking that he couldn’t do this.”
“Now, he sees the weakness and the incompetence of the stupidity of this administration,” Trump continued. “And as an American, I’m angry about it. And I’m saddened by it. And it all happened because of a rigged election.”