Former President Donald Trump said in an interview on Wednesday that President Biden was being too gentle with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a virtual meeting on Tuesday that focused on bolstering Moscow’s forces on the border with the Ukraine.
“I looked at them yesterday and I kind of said, ‘It’s the Pittsburgh Steelers in their prime playing against your high school football team’ because things got dropped in that reunion which was terrible. Trump told the radio host. Hugh Hewitt.
Biden said on Wednesday he warned Putin of “grave consequences – economic consequences like he had never seen before” if Russia invaded Ukraine, but Trump said Putin would not be worried because there was no There is no threat that the United States will enter a military conflict.
“Look, the bottom line is that Putin would never have done that with me. He never would have… They’re not talking about the real thing he’s afraid of, which is war. He doesn’t want war, ”Trump said.
“They talk about ‘We will impose sanctions if they come in.’ Well, for sanctions, it’s worth getting in, “the former president added.” What kind of negotiator? They kept saying ‘sanctions.’ Well, he would like to have sanctions if he could take control of Ukraine. He would take them, and then in two years the sanctions would come as usual. “
“There was nothing scary about this meeting,” Trump continued. “Putin walked out of this meeting saying ‘Wow, that was good.'”
Trump also said he believed Biden could be compromised by his son’s business relationship, including an alleged payment of $ 3.5 million in 2014 to a company linked to Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina’s second son. A Senate committee report released last year alleged the payment had been made, but did not identify any targets. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this year she was not familiar with the details.
Documents from a laptop computer that belonged to Hunter Biden indicate that Joe Biden attended a dinner in Washington in 2015 with a group of his son’s associates, including Baturina and her husband, former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov .
“Biden arrives, his son received 3.5 million dollars from the wife of the mayor of Moscow. Biden walks in and immediately approves [the Nord Stream 2 pipeline]”Trump said.
In a statement released following Tuesday’s Biden-Putin appeal, Trump said he believed Putin was also taking into account Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.
“Vladimir Putin looks at our pathetic surrender in Afghanistan, leaving behind dead soldiers, US citizens and $ 85 billion in military equipment,” he wrote.
“I was harder,” Trump told Hewitt. “I got along very well with Putin. I loved it. He liked me, but he never would have done that under any circumstances. Remember this. I was much harder on Russia than anyone else. And I watched these thugs like Shifty [Rep. Adam] Schiff says “Russia, Russia”. Let me tell you, I did something that no one would have even thought of. I finished their pipeline, Nord Stream 2. I finished it, the world’s largest, their most important treasure, and I finished it.
Trump has also been accused of being too gentle on Putin. After a 2018 summit in Helsinki, Finland, the then president was forced to limit the damage and claimed he misspoke after appearing to accept Putin’s denial of hacking Democrats in 2016.
Republicans have repeatedly criticized Biden for allowing Russia to complete construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is nearly operational. The White House lifted sanctions on the project in May, Biden citing that the project was “almost completely finished.”
The pipeline will allow Russia to send natural gas directly to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and depriving the Kiev government of lucrative gas transfer fees. Critics say it will strengthen Moscow’s influence over its western neighbor.