In a rambling, partly ad-libbed speech to attendees of the far right conservative CPAC conference Donald Trump, the former U.S. president, praised the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who is right now exploding bombs on the sovereign nation of Ukraine in an illegal attack experts say make him a war criminal.
Political and legal experts are aghast, denouncing Trump’s speech:
“Yesterday reporters asked me if I thought President Putin was smart,” Trump said Saturday night at CPAC. “I said, ‘Of course he’s smart,’ to which I was greeted with, ‘Oh, that’s such a terrible thing to say.’ I like to tell them ‘Yes, he’s smart.’ The NATO nations and indeed the world, as he looks over what’s happening strategically with no repercussions or threats whatsoever, they’re not so smart, they’re looking the opposite of smart. ‘If you take over Ukraine, we’re going to sanction you,’ they say. Sanction? Well that’s a pretty weak statement.”
“Putin is saying, ‘Oh, they’re going to sanction me? They’ve sanctioned me for the last 25 years. You mean I can take over a whole country and they’re going to sanction me? You mean they’re not going to blow us to pieces, at least psychologically?’ The problem is not that Putin is smart, which of course he’s smart, but the real problem is that our leaders are dumb, dumb, so dumb.”
Trump calls Putin smart, says NATO is not so smart, and calls our leaders dumb pic.twitter.com/lEEymSPSby
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 27, 2022
Trump does not understand it is unprecedented for the U.S. to personally sanction the leader of a foreign nuclear power. And experts say the actions taken today by the nations of the world will throw Russia into historic economic chaos.
David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s vaunted campaign manager and senior advisor, blasted Trump as “Putin’s not so sleeper agent on American soil.”
Trump, Plouffe added, “keeps trying to please Daddy,” and called the ex-president a “traitorous, narcissistic sociopath.”
Professor of international relations, author, journalist, and CEO David Rothkopf declares that the “leader of the Republican Party reminds America again that he is not on our side, that he supports a brutal dictator who has launched a barbarous attack against an innocent European neighbor, a democracy of 45 million people.”
Political historian Marc C. Johnson fumes: “This is among the most reprehensible things an American politician has ever said. Ever said.”
Hillary Clinton’s former Deputy National Press Secretary says Trump has “continued to provide propaganda videos to help Putin and hurt Ukraine.”
Brooklyn Law assistant professor Andrew Jennings notes that “President Biden, working with NATO allies, has adeptly created the conditions for what would have been unthinkable weeks ago: Ukraine could win this war on the battlefield and the Putin regime could fall. Right now, those should be the goals we all contribute to, however we can.”
Vanity Fair’s Joe Hagan says Trump is a “Small, weak, powerless man facing multiple lawsuits, enormous bank loans, fast-shrinking political clout and a world leaving him behind faster than he can possibly realize.”
Former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski sounds stunned: “Even by Trump’s standards, this is utterly repulsive. There has never been any former president, at any time in our history, who has ever said things like this about our country during time of conflict. Just vile.”
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