"President Putin's 'genius' idea to send so-called peacekeepers into Ukraine would not have happened had I been in office – not even thinkable," Trump said as quoted by Brannon Howse during the Feb. 28 episode of the "World View Report" on Brighteon.TV. "This would never have happened if we were there."
Worse, the former president thinks Putin's move has emboldened Chinese President Xi Jinping. "China's going to be next," Trump said in a recent interview with "The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show." He elaborated that the Asian superpower will attack Taiwan due to President Joe Biden's weak leadership. (Related: Trump: China will DEFINITELY attack Taiwan following Russia-Ukraine example.)
Biden earlier warned that the U.S. forces will defend North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) territories if Russia broadens its assault beyond Ukraine. That's another way of saying that he will not interfere in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Chinese, for sure, are listening.
Even mainstream media outlets have noticed that tension in Ukraine never escalated during the Trump administration. NBC's Chuck Todd once asked, "How come there was none of this happening during the Trump administration?"
It's largely because Putin respects Trump – and doesn't care about Biden.
"I knew Putin very well," Trump said. "I got along with him great. He liked me. I liked him. I mean, you know, he's a tough cookie, got a lot of the great charm and a lot of pride. And he loves his country."
But invading Ukraine has always been a part of Putin's agenda.
"I think he sees this opportunity. I knew that he always wanted Ukraine," Trump said. "I used to talk to him about it. I said, 'You can't do it. You're not going to do it.' But I could see that he wanted it. I used to ask him. We used to talk about it at length."
Putin's disregard of Biden makes his posturing laughable – and dangerous to some extent. Ben Armstrong took note of that in a recent episode of "The Ben Armstrong Show."
"[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is never going to view Biden as not weak. I don't know why they don't understand that. How do they not understand that Putin is never going to respect Biden? So telling Biden to act tougher isn't going to work. Am I wrong? How do they not know this? So why are they saying really irresponsible things? I've heard some irresponsible stuff that could get America blown up," Armstrong said.
"I've been saying for the greater good of humanity: The Ukraine is not worth escalating. But we have many leaders that want to act tough. And they think by acting tough, they're going to put us in a better position. Instead, all they're going to do is put Putin in a corner and make him lash out."
Armstrong is worried, and for good reason. Putin has said all along that he will strike first with nuclear weapons.
"Putin has been saying that, and nobody believes him. Everyone thinks that he's not serious," Armstrong noted. "He believes nuclear [weapon] is something that should be used as a first resort if you need to win, especially against a foe like the United States. Now, nobody wants to believe him. And everyone will think that I'm hysterical for saying Vladimir Putin will use nuclear weapons for the first strike."
In fact, Russia is already on nuclear high alert.
"They've got the codes out there for the military – they are ready. All it takes is a word. Putin has told his military to put the world on notice. The reason why is for the Western nations to see. That has nothing to do with the Ukraine. That nuclear high alert has something to do with the sanctions. Because the Western world escalated it," Armstrong said.
Follow WWIII.news for more news related to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.