Trump says he would have already threatened Russia with nukes

Mar 11, 2022

Donald Trump last night shied away from walking back on his praise for Russian president Vladimir Putin in an interview with Fox News late on Thursday, even as host Sean Hannity gave him multiple opportunities to do so.

Prompted to recognise Putin as “evil”, Mr Trump instead defended his description of the Russian leader as “smart”, saying: “Well, I was referring to the fact that he said this is an independent nation, talking about Ukraine, and I said that … this was before there was any attack. He’s calling it an independent nation.”

Reiterating that the invasion would not have happened under his presidency, Mr Trump also criticised Joe Biden for not threatening Russia with “our nuclear capabilities”.

Meanwhile, one of Mr Trump’s most extreme allies, Mike Flynn, has refused to answer questions from the select committee investigating the 6 January riot, instead invoking his Fifth Amendment right to silence. The committee has previously sought access to his phone communications from the period leading up the the riot.

Mr Flynn is widely reported to have taken part in an Oval Office meeting in December 2021 at which the imposition of martial law was suggested as a means to keep Mr Trump in office.

Key points
Trump urges Biden to make Russia nuclear threats
Trump again declines to condemn Putin
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s dispatch from the Ukrainian border
Trump’s plane made emergency landing in New Orleans after engine failure
Backlash against ‘Putin Republicans’ after Madison Cawthorn comments

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