Former President Donald Trump is blaming current President Joe Biden for the crisis that is ongoing between Russia and Ukraine.
“We’re in a really bad position right now,” the former president said on Fox and Friends Weekend.
“I think [Putin] got a lot more ambitious. I think he wanted to negotiate for a period of time, [but] when he watched Afghanistan – when he watched the unbelievably bad withdrawal – where [the U.S.] took out the military first and left $85 billion worth of equipment behind for the Taliban to use. And of course the deaths,” he said.
“When they watched all of them, I think they got emboldened,” the former president said. “It’s shocking because it should have never happened, it would have never happened [if I was in office].
“I knew him very well. I stopped his pipeline, I sanctioned him more than everybody else sanctioned them,” he said of Russia. “Nobody was ever tougher on Russia, but I got along with Putin very well, we respected each other.”
“I don’t think Putin is going to be listening,” he said. “The phone call is very perfunctory, I don’t think much is going to come out of it.”
That prediction, which appears to be correct, came hours before President Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and, as the former president predicted, it appears it was not fruitful.
“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia about Russia’s escalating military buildup on the borders of Ukraine. President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,” it said.
“President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia’s standing. President Biden was clear with President Putin that while the United States remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our Allies and partners, we are equally prepared for other scenarios,” it said.
The call came a day after the United States warned American citizens to leave Ukraine now, an ominous sign that it believes an invasion is imminent and said it would not send troops in to save them if they choose to stay.
“American citizens should leave now,” the president said in an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt set to air on Super Bowl Sunday.
“It’s not like we’re dealing with a terrorist organization. We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation, and things could go crazy quickly,” he said.
The anchor asked the president what scenarios would cause him to send troops into Ukraine and President Biden was blunt in his response.
“There’s not. That’s a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another,” he said. “We’re in a very different world than we’ve ever been.”
Biden said that if Putin is “foolish enough to go in, he’s smart enough not to, in fact, do anything that would negatively impact on American citizens.”
“Have you ever told him that?” the anchor said.
“Yes,” Biden responded.
“You’ve told him that, that Americans will be a line that they can’t cross?” the anchor pressed.
“I didn’t have to tell him that. I’ve spoken about that. He knows that,” the president said.
The interview came as the State Department issued a stark warning.
“U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that the U.S. government will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine. Military action may commence at any time and without warning and would also severely impact the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including assistance to U.S. citizens in departing Ukraine. For more information, please review what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas,” it said.