Never one to stray from the big lie, former President Donald Trump called in to Fox News while Russia attacked Ukraine to claim that the invasion “happened because of a rigged election.”
In between winding tangents on Afghanistan interrupted by Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Trump spent most of the call beating up on President Joe Biden and expressing his affection for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I don’t think he’s monitoring, I think he’s probably sleeping right now,” Trump said of Biden. “He doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, it’s an absolute disgrace.”
Trump said that the invasion never would have happened under his administration, since he and Putin “get along fantastically.”
“I really don’t believe he wanted to do this initially,” Trump said of Putin attacking Ukraine. “Then he saw the weakness.”
Ingraham happily mimicked Trump’s posture, calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for peace earlier Wednesday “a pathetic display” and accusing the United States of weakness.
In one uncomfortable moment, Trump seemed to misunderstand Ingraham’s update that Russians, not Americans, had launched an amphibious attack and started berating Ingraham for revealing the United States’ “secret” maneuvers on the air.
“No, that was the Russians,” Ingraham interrupted.
Many standard-bearers on the right have adopted similar stances recently, praising Putin and vilifying Ukraine to excuse Russia’s aggression.
Earlier Wednesday, during an event at Mar-a-Lago, Trump heaped more praise upon his favorite autocrat.
“He’s taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions,” he said of Putin. “I’d say that’s pretty smart.”