Former President Donald Trump gave another hint at a 2024 run during his speech to supporters last Sunday. During his talk, he also doubled down on his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump Hints At 2024 Run
During his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando last weekend, Trump was in high spirits.
He said that he plans to win for the third time with a 2024 run. “We did it twice, and we’ll do it again. We’re going to be doing it again a third time.”
Again, the former stopped short of officially declaring his candidacy for the Presidency. For now, he remains content at throwing hints for a possible 2024 run.
Declaring early for the Republican nomination for Presidency can lead to tighter reporting about his campaign fundraising activities.
Trumps Condemns Invasion of Ukraine, But Remain Effusive in Praising Putin
In addition, Trump seemed to double down on his praise for Putin, which drew condemnation from many Americans. Trump also clarified that he does not support the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He said it’s “appalling and it’s an outrage and an atrocity that should never have been allowed to occur.”
However, Trump also mocked President Joe Biden and his North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies. He said that Putin played Biden “like a drum,” as they only relied on sanctions.
He also said that Putin never invaded any country during his term as US President. If not for the rigged elections in 2020, Trump said that this invasion wouldn’t have happened.
“He understood me and he understood that I didn’t play games,” Trump said. “Someday I’ll tell you exactly what we talked about,” he said. “He did have an affinity, there’s no question about it, for Ukraine. I said, ‘Better not let it happen.’”
Trump Admits Admiring Putin
The Republican former president has long admired Putin. Last week, he complimented the Russian president on his actions against Ukraine.
He said that it was smart for Putin to send “the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen” to Ukraine.“This is genius,” Trump added.
He described Putin’s justification to enter Ukrainian territory as “pretty savvy”. Putin declares support for two breakaway regions and sends troops for peacekeeping missions.
Trump highlighted the fact that Putin used the word “independent” to bolster his desire to support them. In particular, Trump called Putin “smart” during his Saturday night speech.
“The problem is not that Putin is smart — which, of course, he’s smart,” he said. “The real problem is that our leaders are dumb. Dumb. So dumb.” he exclaimed.
Cheers for Ukraine, Silence For Russia
Meanwhile, the CPAC crowd was more effusive in their support for Ukraine during Trump’s speech. The majority of the crowd was silent when Trump said Putin and Russia won’t pay any price for the invasion.
Faint applause accompanied Trump’s statement when he said sanctions won’t stop Russia from overwhelming Ukraine.
However, the crowd became more animated when Trump praised Ukrainians and their president Volodymyr Zelensky. The audience responded with cheers on the mention of Ukraine’s efforts in resisting Russia’s advances.
Watch The Hill’s video reporting ‘Putin is smart, our leaders are dumb’: Trump doubles down on his statement on Putin at CPAC:
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