On Saturday, former President Donald Trump saint that President Vladimir Putin of Russia had been “emboldened” to take over Ukraine after witnessing how “incompetent” the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan happened last year. He also said that the U.S. will not be in the said position if he was still the country’s president.
“First of all, it’s shocking because it should have never happened, it would not have happened,” Trump said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
The former president said this while reacting to the tensions increasing on the border of Ukraine and Russia while fears of an imminent Russian invasion are increasing. Earlier on Saturday, the State Department ordered non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to evacuate. This happened hours following White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan asked Americans to get out of the country.
“As we’ve said before, we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time, should Vladimir Putin decide to order it,” Sullivan said during a White House news briefing.
Trump said the Biden administration is to blame for the situation. He tied it to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that happened last August, claiming that both Russia and China were watching closely.
“How we got here is when they watched Afghanistan, and they watched the most incompetent withdrawal in the history of probably any army let alone just us, and President Xi [Jinping] and President Putin – watch what happens with China very soon with Taiwan – and they watched that, and they said: ‘What’s going on? They don’t know what they’re doing.’ And all of a sudden I think they got a lot more ambitious.”
Russia is advancing on Ukraine because Joe Biden is in the White House.
Putin would have never tried this on President Donald Trump.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) February 12, 2022
“I think Putin really wanted to negotiate for a period of time, but when he watched Afghanistan when he watched that unbelievably bad withdrawal, incompetent, where they took the Military out first, where they left $85 billion worth of equipment behind for the Taliban to have and to use and of course the deaths that happened – when they watched all of that I think they got emboldened,” Trump went on to say.
The former president also claimed that this wouldn’t be the case if was still in the White House.
“I know him very well, got along with him very well, I stopped his pipeline, I sanctioned them more than anybody ever sanctioned them,” Trump said. “No one was ever tougher on Russia, but I got along with Putin very well, we respected each other. I think you have a whole different ball game right now.”
Biden will speak to Putin on Saturday about the situation in the Russia-Ukraine border, but the former president dismissed how important such a phone call could be.
“This is just an exercise, he’s not going to tell him anything and I don’t think at this point Putin’s at this point going to be listening,” he said.