Trump praises Putin as ‘genius’ and ‘very savvy’ for invading Ukraine

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FORMER US President Donald Trump has praised Russian strongman Vladimir Putin as a “genius” for invading portions of Ukraine — and blasted President Biden for weakness.

Showering praise on a top geopolitical rival of America, Trump said the “very savvy” Putin outsmarted Biden by recognizing two breakaway regions as independent nations.

“This is genius: Putin declares a big portion of Ukraine as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful … I said: How smart is that?’” Trump said.

Trump said Putin was clever to frame his invasion force as a way to protect the separatist regions even though the U.S. and its allies have entirely rejected Putin’s description.

“He’s going to go in as a peacekeeping force that’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen,” Trump said on a right-wing podcast hosted by Clay Travis and Buddy Sexton. “You gotta say: that’s pretty savvy.”

Trump also improbably sought to link the Ukraine crisis to his unending campaign of lies about the 2020 election that Biden won: “What went wrong was a rigged election … what went wrong is a candidate who should never be there.”

Touting his close relationship with the Russian president, Trump suggested that he would have figured out a way to prevent Putin from moving troops into the Russian-backed separatist provinces of Ukraine without offering any specifics.

“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” Trump said. “I know Vladimir Putin very well, and he would have never done during the Trump administration what he is doing now, no way!”

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