Trump says Putin is ‘smart’ but made a ‘big mistake’ by invading Ukraine

Former President Donald Trump repeated his praise for several authoritarian leaders on Saturday, calling out the Russian president Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussian rocket attacks injure five in western Ukrainian city of Lviv If we write off the IRGC, what will dictators think? Putin’s war on Ukrainian civilians is not new and won’t work MOREChinese leader Xi Jinping and “smart” North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.

At a rally in Commerce, Georgia, Trump called these authoritarian leaders strong, saying “the smartest come to the top.”

Trump said China’s Xi was smart because he ‘rules 1.5 billion people with an iron fist’, while he called North Korea’s Kim ‘tough’. Both Xi and Kim have been widely condemned by the international community for human rights abuses.

Trump also repeated some praise for Putin, while distancing himself from earlier remarks that sounded more fully supportive of the Russian leader.

“They asked me if Putin was smart. Yes, Putin was smart,” Trump told a crowd of rally attendees.

After acknowledging that Putin had made a “big mistake” in attacking another country and its people, Trump said the Russian leader’s massive buildup on the border before the invasion seemed like a “big deal”.

“That’s a hell of a way to negotiate, putting 200,000 troops on the border,” Trump said. “It was a big mistake, but it looked like a great deal. It didn’t work out very well for him.”

Trump previously called Putin ‘very savvy’ after the Russian president said he would recognize two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent days before the invasion, drawing criticism from Democrats and Republicans. Trump later attempted to backtrack on those comments and condemn the invasion.

At Saturday’s rally, Trump also suggested President BidenJoe BidenRussian rocket attacks left five people injured in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. If we deregister the IRGC, what will the dictators think? Biden to propose minimum tax on billionaires in MORE budget was weak to authoritarian leaders and said the president “should recuse himself from anything to do with Ukraine” because of his son’s business dealings in the country, which have come under attack from the GOP during the 2020 presidential campaign.

A New York Post story in October 2020 said “steamy” emails revealed a meeting between Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Ukrainian business executives, insinuating shady dealings. Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giulanithen serving as President TrumpHunter’s personal attorney delivered the emails to the outlet, saying they came from a laptop that Hunter Biden left at a computer repair shop in Delaware.

Other news outlets, including The New York Times, have since authenticated portions of the laptop’s content.

GOP leaders have vowed to launch a fact-finding inquiry into Hunter Biden, as well as other topics including the origins of the COVID-19 virus and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, if the party regains a majority.

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