Trump Says He Was "Surprised" Putin Invaded Ukraine

    Photo: Sputnik/AFP [via Axios]

    The Facts

    • In an interview on Tues, Trump expressed surprise at Putin's actions in Ukraine, saying he initially thought the Russian leader had amassed forces on the border as a "tough" but "smart" negotiation tactic.

    • The comments are in contrast to his reaction in the early stages of the invasion; when Putin declared two regions of Ukraine "independent," Trump labelled the move "genius" and "savvy".

    The Spin

    Democratic narrative

    The GOP and its friendly news media outlets are attempting to weaponize the Ukraine crisis to undermine Biden and the Democrats. But they're beholden to disgraced former president Trump, who is unwilling to criticize Putin. They've put partisanship above national interest, and now their hypocrisy is clear for all to see.

    Pro-Trump narrative

    Trump was a deal-maker in his private life and he brought the same pragmatic approach to diplomacy during his time in the White House, which helped him to forge productive relations with America's global adversaries. But Putin has changed, and none of this would have happened if Trump were still president.

    Public figures in this story

    Vladimir Putin

    Political split



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