Trump news – live: Ex-president’s own national security adviser turns on him over Putin ‘genius’ comment – The Independent
Ad trolls Trump over January 6 committee developments
As Vladimir Putin attacks Ukraine with ground forces and airstrikes, a State Department spokesperson said he had “no words” in response to praise for the Russian autocrat from Donald Trump.
Twice in two days, the former president has hailed Mr Putin as “smart” and blamed Joe Biden for what is happening.
“He [Mr Putin] was going to be satisfied with a piece and now he sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration,” Mr Trump said while speaking with Fox News presenter Laura Ingraham. “As an American I am angry about it and I am saddened by it. And it all happened because of a rigged election.”
In another video clip from Wednesday night that was circulated on social media, Mr Trump can be heard saying: “Trump said Putin is smart. He’s taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Trump hailed Mr Putin as “savvy” and called his move on Ukraine “genius”.
Two Republican Senators have given strikingly different diagnoses of where the US stands in relation to events in Ukraine. Speaking to a reporter at CPAC, Missouri’s Josh Hawley said not just that the US shouldn’t send forces to fight in Ukraine (there is nothing to suggest it will), but that it should in fact be pulling troops out of Europe in order to focus on China’s threat in East Asia.
Contrast that view with the below from Florida’s Marco Rubio, who argues against the idea that Vladimir Putin could have been placated out of invading Ukraine with the offer of security guarantees from Nato – and insists that the conflict’s implications should not be underestimated.
Michael Flynn, the retired general and extreme conspiracy theorist who was a central figure in the long-running scandal over Donald Trump’s Russian connections, has put out a statement conveying his views on Ukraine.
In it, he condemns the invasion, but frames it basically as a failure of diplomacy on the part of the Biden administration – that is, a failure to address Vladimir Putin’s “legitimate security concerns” and “legitimate ethnic problems” in Ukraine itself.
ICYMI: Two New York prosecutors investigating Trump have resigned
Two prosecutors leading the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into the former president and his business practices resigned on Wednesday.
The prosecutors, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz submitted their resignations after new Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, indicated that he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Mr Trump.
Study finds belief in QAnon has strengthened since Trump left office
According to the latest study of its followers, the QAnon conspiracy movement has continued to thrive in the US more than a year after Donald Trump left the White House.
The Public Religion Research Institute’s latest study has revealed that about 22 per cent of Americans believe that a “storm” is coming, “18 per cent think violence might be necessary to save the country and 16 per cent hold that the government, media and financial worlds are controlled by Satan-worshipping paedophiles.”
The study states that “the share of QAnon believers has increased slightly through 2021.”
It added that in March, 14 per cent of Americans were QAnon believers, compared to 16 per cent in July, 17 per cent in September, and 17 per cent in October.”
The PRRI study also revealed that the “share of QAnon doubters has remained relatively steady.”
Bernie Sanders calls Trump’s praise of Putin ‘outrageous’
Bernie Sanders called Donald Trump’s praise of the Russian president “outrageous” but said that it was “unsurprising.”
The Vermont senator said: “It is outrageous, if unsurprising, that Trump would praise Putin’s murderous invasion of Ukraine as an act of ‘genius.’” He added that “it should concern us all that Putin is exactly the kind of leader Trump would like to be, and that so few Republicans have the courage to say this out loud.”
During the interview, the former president had called Mr “savvy” and “genius” for invading Ukraine. He said: “I said, ‘How smart is that? He’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper,’” Mr Trump said.
“That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep peace, all right.”
Confused Trump believes US has invaded Ukraine in Fox call-in
Former US President Donald Trump appeared to be under the impression that the US had invaded Ukraine during an exchange with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
Bashing President Joe Biden for his handling of the crisis, Mr Trump and Ms Ingraham discussed the invasion, with Ms Ingraham repeating a report about an amphibious landing in Odessa, which Mr Trump appeared to think was a reference to US troops.
Jon Stewart calls Trump’s views on Putin ‘f****** bonkers’
Jon Stewart has branded Donald Trump’s reaction to Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine “f****** bonkers”.
Stewart directed the same criticism toward Fox News, tweeting on Wednesday, 23 February: “The Trump/Fox axis isn’t soft-pedaling Putin’s actions… they agree with them. They are political allies. They believe in the same things. To them, the American Left and most of Europe are the Evil Empire.”
In a follow-up tweet, Stewart added: “It is f****** bonkers.”
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