Why does Donald Trump keep praising Putin?
Russian plant, Russian collusion, Russian asset – Donald Trump has heard all the accusations before that claim he is beholden to Moscow – but he still has nice things to say about Vladimir Putin, no matter that the master of the Kremlin is an international villain.
Why has Donald Trump done this in the past and keeps doing it?
Donald Trump Said Putin Is a Genius?
Speaking to Clay Travis and Buck Sexton show, the former president said back in early 2022, “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.”
He also added that Putin’s actions were “pretty savvy.”
Donald Trump later said to a gathering at Mar-a-Lago back in February that “[Putin] is taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart.”
Putin Has Outsmarted Biden, Trump Said
Donald Trump continued to parrot the line that Putin never would have staged the invasion had Trump still been president.
Trump insinuated that Putin had outsmarted President Joe Biden saying in a speech to the rightwing gathering after the war started that Putin was playing Biden like a drum.
Spend Money at Home Not In Ukraine
The former president also alluded to his America First foreign policy strategy in which he derided aid to Ukraine as a waste of money that could better be spent at home.
Keep Ukraine From Turning Into World War Three
Donald Trump also wanted some type of peace process with Russia.
It is not clear what the details of a negotiated armistice would be – whether the terms would favor Russia or Ukraine.
Trump’s America First strategy hinges upon the ending of “forever wars” and Donald Trump believes that if it doesn’t stop soon the war in Ukraine could include American boots on the ground.
He has claimed he could stop the war in “24 hours” presumably by his close relations with Putin.
Trump Wants to Drain the Swamp of War Mongers
Trump also hates so-called war mongers and he has vowed if elected again to throw all globalists and national security hawks out of the Department of Defense and Department of State.
Republicans Becoming Skeptical
Other Republicans have taken note of Trump’s reticence to support aid to Ukraine. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has warned Ukraine would not get a blank check.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has introduced a bill to require money pledged and donated to Ukraine be audited.
End This Awful War
Donald Trump appears to have an affinity for Putin and that is alarming. However, Trump is correct to call for negotiations. This war has gone on for over a year. Both sides are slaughtering each other. The battles in Donetsk and Luhansk are stalemates with hundreds of lives lost in exchange for just a few yards of territory.
If Donald Trump thinks he can get elected again and end the war, then more power to him. Someone needs to have the courage to attempt peace negotiations.
Both Sides Are Stubborn
No one wants to favor Russia as they are clearly the bad actors. However, Ukraine has some stiff demands such as all Russian personnel out of the country including Crimea, that Putin and his minions be subject to war crime tribunals, and that Moscow pay reparations to Kyiv. Russia wants control over Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk.
Most observers and armchair strategists do not have a clear end state for the war. They are happy for Ukraine to keep fighting. The Biden administration’s policy has been to let the Ukrainians decide when they want to cease fire and begin negotiating.
Yes, Trump has a strange man crush on Putin and this needs to stop, but anyone who even has a remote and vague plan for peace should be listened to.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.