A month into Russia’s unprovoked, violent and deadly war on Ukraine, former President Trump is demanding Russian President Vladimir Putin turn his focus elsewhere: digging up dirt on … Hunter Biden. Revised.
In a preview of an interview with the far-right outlet “Just the News” that will air in its entirety Tuesday evening, the former president rehashed his age-old grievances with the outlet’s founder and well-known conspiracy theory-curious, conservative commentator John Solomon. In the pre-release clip, Trump raised unfounded claims that Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina, the wife of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, gave $3.5 million to a foreign business founded by Hunter Biden.
“She gave him $3.5 million so now I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it,” Trump said. “I think we should know that answer.”
Trump then insisted that Putin should help him in his efforts to dig up dirt on the Biden family.
“How is it that the mayor of Moscow, his wife gave the Biden family three and a half million dollars?” Trump said. “I think Putin now would be willing to probably give that answer. I’m sure he knows.”
The former president’s latest remarks revive demands similar to what got him impeached the first time as president — that foreign governments help him find damaging information about his political rivals.
But as a private citizen, he’s been doing this for some time. Months before the 2016 presidential election, Trump invited Russia to hack the emails of then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from the server she used during her term as secretary of state.
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said in Sept. 2016. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Fast forward to 2019, when, as president, Trump unsuccessfully tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching investigations into the Bidens and other Democrats over baseless allegations — which, of course, culminated in his first impeachment.
Although Trump has condemned Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the former president also heaped praise on the Russian president hours after the launch of his deadly invasion.
Last month, Trump called Putin “smart,” despite criticizing Russia’s attack on Ukraine as “appalling.”
And last weekend, Trump once again declared to the crowd at a campaign rally in Georgia that Putin is “smart.”
“The smartest one gets to the top,” Trump said in Georgia last weekend. “That didn’t work so well recently in our country. But they ask me, ‘Is Putin smart?’ Yes, Putin was smart. And I actually thought he was going to be negotiating. I said, ‘That’s a hell of a way to negotiate, put 200,000 soldiers on the border.’”