Former President Donald Trump was recorded on speaker phone claiming to pal and golf pro John Daly that he once warned Russia President Vladimir Putin that he’d bomb Moscow if Putin invaded Ukraine.
It was a startling statement, given that Trump just recently praised Putin as a “genius” for invading Ukraine, where the Russian military is attacking a sovereign nation and dropping bombs on civilians.
“They’re all saying, ’Oh, he’s a nuclear power. It’s like they’re afraid of him.,” Trump told Daly, referring to Putin, in the call posted on Instagram Friday.
“You know, he was a friend of mine,” Trump preened. “I got along great with him. ”
But Trump insisted on the call that he also played tough with his buddy. If Putin invaded Ukraine, Trump claimed he warned him: “We’re gonna hit Moscow.” And “he sort of believed me, like 5%, 10%,” Trump added. “That’s all you need. He never did it during my time, John, you know … He didn’t do this during the last four years because he knew he couldn’t,” Trump added.
But Trump just praised Putin’s invasion days ago. And John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, has accused Trump of setting the stage for Putin’s invasion by constantly criticizing Ukraine and delaying arms shipments to the nation — and lavishing praise on Putin.
Trump “did not” take a tough stance on Putin, Bolton said earlier this week on Newsmax.
Trump also risked NATO’s survival as a foil to Russian aggression by constantly attacking the Western alliance. Putin expected Trumpwould pull the U.S. out of NATO if he was elected to a second term, leaving the way clear for the Russian military, Bolton told The Washington Post in a virtual chat on Friday.