by WorldTribune Staff, February 25, 2022
During a Feb. 23 interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, former President Donald Trump said that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin didn’t invade Ukraine during his administration for “a very good reason, and I’ll explain that to you someday.”
The reason may have been revealed in an interview Trump gave New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.
Noting that Putin had seized land from Georgia when George W. Bush was president and seized the Crimean peninsula when Barack Obama was president, Trump said he warned Putin against a land grab on his watch.
“If you move against Ukraine while I’m president,” Trump is said to have told the Russian leader, “I will hit Moscow.”
Putin reportedly scoffed, “No way,” leading Trump to say, “All those beautiful golden turrets will be blown up.”
A similar story, Goodwin noted, involved Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping during his visit to Mar-a-Lago in 2017 “when Trump famously interrupted their chocolate cake dessert to declare he had just ordered the U.S. military to fire 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base after the Syrian government used chemical weapons against rebels and civilians.”
During that same visit, Trump reportedly told Xi that any military move against Taiwan would be met with an attack on Beijing.
“Xi, like Putin, is said to have been stunned, though it is possible neither man believed Trump was serious,” Goodwin added. “While it is also possible that both accounts are exaggerated, it is a fact that neither man made the moves Trump is said to have warned against.”
Trump also related two stories relevant to the current crisis in Ukraine, both involving his fight with NATO members that were not paying their agreed-upon share of the common defense, especially Germany.
“I sent her a white flag,” Trump said of former Chancellor Angela Merkel. “She said, ‘What is this?’ I said, ‘It’s a flag of surrender so you don’t have to go out and buy a new one.’ ”
He also recounted an exchange in a Brussels meeting of all 28 member NATO countries where he was pushing for more payments, leading the Austrian leader to ask whether the United States would still defend those countries against a Russian attack if they didn’t pay up.
“No,” Trump said he answered. “We will not defend you.”