President Joe Biden clowned on Donald Trump during an interview taped at the White House over the former commander-in-chief’s remark that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was a “genius” because of his aggressive targeting of Ukraine. As Biden told interviewer Brian Tyler Cohen, “I put as much stock in Trump saying that Putin’s a genius as I do when he called himself a stable genius.” Trump made those original comments before the full-fledged Russian invasion of Ukraine that recently began, but after Russia had already launched other forms of military aggression against the smaller country, which is now struggling against Russia’s onslaught — and so far keeping them beaten back from broader gains, although not without tragic destruction and losses of lives. Check out Biden’s comments below:
.@POTUS on Donald Trump calling Putin "savvy" and "genius" amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "I put as much stock in Trump saying that Putin's a genius as I do when he called himself a stable genius." pic.twitter.com/H1Q1UVK8r9
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 26, 2022
Originally, Trump said (per The New York Times): “Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper… That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep peace, all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy.” He was referring to Russia’s recognition of two independent countries on Ukrainian territory and announcement of troop deployment plans for those regions — although it’s likely that only a leader who was truly inept would have conclusively asserted that such would’ve assuredly been the limit of Russian military aggression against Ukraine. Now, the Biden administration is continuing its roll-out of support for the Ukrainians amid their push to keep Russian forces from taking over their country. The State Department outlined $350 million worth of additional military aid for Ukraine this weekend; the assistance, per Reuters, “included anti-armor, small arms, body armor and various munitions in support of Ukraine’s front-line defenders.” Also included in the planned transfers were anti-aircraft weapons.
Now would be a good time for news outlets to revisit (in detail) Paul Manafort’s efforts in Ukraine on behalf of pro-Russian interests and why the FBI was clearly justified in trying to figure out what he was up to in the Trump campaign in 2016. Oh, and that Trump pardoned him
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) February 26, 2022
“Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov claimed in a Saturday Facebook post that his forces have killed around 3,000 Russian troops, destroyed 100 Russian tanks and shot down seven helicopters,” POLITICO reported. Russian military personnel have been targeting major cities, including the capital, but Ukrainians have kept the Russians from controlling comparatively large areas at a time so far. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has remained in the capital, Kiev, as soldiers and citizens around the country have banded together against the invasion. Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, has laid out how, according to her telling, “Russian rockets hit residential areas and ambulances, injured children and destroyed strategic gas pipelines,” as NBC notes.
Trump former nat sec adviser Robert O’Brien in remarks at CPAC today: “Make no mistake, Putin is a killer who wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. He is not a person to be admired no matter how charming or clever he is portrayed to be.”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 26, 2022