Former U.S. President Donald Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin is smarter than NATO leaders, claiming that it would have been so easy for him to stop this war from happening.
In a rambling speech at CPAC, Trump stated that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “lied” about the phone call with Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelenskyy that resulted in Trump’s first impeachment.
Schiff “made up a story about my phone call with the president of Ukraine, who, by the way is a brave man, he’s hanging in, he’s a brave man. And I like him because during that ridiculous impeachment because … he said [I] did absolutely nothing wrong.”
During his speech, Trump criticized Biden and NATO, affirming that he would have handled the situation better. He also asserted that Putin is a strong leader who is getting what he wants and is not facing much resistance from the international community.
“Of course [Putin] is smart,” he said. “The NATO nations and indeed the world, as he looks over what’s happening strategically with no repercussions or threats whatsoever, they’re not so smart, they’re looking the opposite of smart.”
“If you take over Ukraine, we’re going to sanction you they say. Sanction? Well, that’s a pretty weak statement. Putin is saying ‘Oh they’re going to sanction me, well they’ve sanctioned me for the last 25 years. You mean I can take over a whole country and they’re going to sanction me? You mean they’re not going to blow us to pieces at least psychologically?’ The problem is not that Putin is smart, which of course he’s smart. The real problem is that our leaders are dumb. Dumb. So dumb,” he further explained.
Moreover, Trump said that Putin’s invasion is a “travesty and assault on humanity, that’s what it is. This is an assault on humanity, so sad.”
“It would have been so easy for me to stop this travesty from happening,” he added. “[Putin] understood me, and he understood I didn’t play games, this would not have happened. Some day I’ll tell you exactly what we talked about. But we talked about it and he did have an affinity for Ukraine. I said never let it happen, you better not let it happen.”