Trump condemns the Russian invasion. Hints again in 2024 presidential race

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump on Saturday denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said he was praying for Ukrainians, changing his tone from his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week.

Trump’s remarks at the governors’ gathering at the CPAC in Florida came hours after the United States and its allies announced sweeping new sanctions that would expel some Russian banks from major global payment systems and limit the Russian Central Bank’s ability to support the ruble.

Addressing a beloved crowd at an event promoting itself as the world’s largest conservative gathering, Trump used his rhetoric to attack Democratic President Joe Biden and hint once again that he might run for president in 2024.

Register now to get free unlimited access to

Trump angered some members of the Republican Party by describing Putin’s actions in Ukraine, where Russian cities have been bombed with artillery and cruise missiles, as “genius” and “very smart.”

Trump expressed his sympathy with the Ukrainians and this time praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling him “brave” during his stay in the capital, Kiev.

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

Trump said Putin took advantage of Biden’s “weakness” to attack Ukraine. He also linked the invasion to the 2020 US presidential election, a vindication of him, again falsely stating that fraud was responsible for Biden’s victory.

“As everyone understands,” he said, “this horrific catastrophe would never have happened if our election had not been rigged and if I had been president,” to which a woman from the dense audience replied, “You are the president!”

See also  Georgia's Foreign Agents Bill Draws Protesters to the Streets

Trump hasn’t confirmed whether he will run for president again in 2024, but he hinted strongly recently and did so again on Saturday.

“In November 2024, they (Democrats) will find out like never before,” Trump said. “We’ve done it twice, and we’ll do it again. We’ll do it again, a third time.”

Democratic attorney Mark Elias tweeted that Trump’s words should lead to “a series of legal requirements relating to his spending and disclosures.”

Trump’s fundraising runs amassed a cash pile of over $100 million as he crosses the country and holds rallies. Read more

Trump Blames Biden, world leaders

Trump also cited the Russian invasions of George W. Bush’s Georgia and Barack Obama’s Crimea before declaring: “I stand as the only 21st century president in whose time Russia has not invaded another country.”

Trump has spoken of his past praise of Putin, saying he was right that Putin was smart because he was outsmarting world leaders and NATO. “The real problem is that our leaders are very stupid and very stupid,” he said.

The Democratic National Committee criticized Trump’s comments. “The defeated ex-president took the podium at the CPAC to double down on his rude praises to Putin,” she said in a statement.

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

“I have Trump in mind that Putin is a greater genius than he was when he described himself as a stable genius,” Biden said.

See also  Indian workers remain trapped in the collapsed tunnel, with rescue operations hampered

Conservatives at the CPAC conference in Orlando, Florida, which ended Sunday, repeated the line that Putin decided to invade Ukraine because he knew Biden was “weak.”

But Republican politicians have widely shied away from praising Putin, and domestic hotspot issues, such as mask mandates, have emerged much more than foreign policy.

Earlier on Saturday, J.D. Vance, the Republican candidate for a US Senate seat in Ohio, said the US political class was focusing on the conflict in Ukraine at the expense of problems closer to home, such as record crossings at the Mexican border.

said Vance, a venture capitalist and author.

Register now to get free unlimited access to

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer) Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Susan Heffy in Washington, DC; Written by David Morgan Editing by Leslie Adler

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *