Former President Donald Trump conveyed a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin through a Senate intermediary Friday against an invasion of Ukraine.
Sen. Lindsey Graham shared a “pretty stunning and, I think, appropriate” comment from Trump following what Fox News host Sean Hannity said was a “lengthy” meeting.
“He said Putin is realizing that Biden’s weak, but he doesn’t realize that Biden won’t be around in 2024. So President Trump said today if they invade Ukraine, the Russians, it will make it impossible for any future president to have a normal relationship with Russia,” the South Carolina Republican said.
Graham added that he thought this “was a pretty damn wise observation.”
Trump has flirted with another go at the White House in 2024 but has not committed to a campaign. He said on Hannity’s show Thursday evening that he would give an answer at a later date — “You’ll be very happy” with the decision, he added. During that interview, Trump also said he had a “very good relationship” with Putin but stressed that such a large military buildup on the border of Ukraine never happened on his watch.
Graham said Trump has been “floored” by Biden’s performance. The White House scrambled to clean up after Biden rankled allies with a statement during a press conference Wednesday suggesting a “minor incursion” by Russia into Ukraine would prompt a less serious U.S. response.
“President Biden has been clear with the Russian president: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our allies,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki later said.
Graham opined Friday that Putin with Trump as president could not invade Ukraine “and get away with it,” which he said is the opposite case with Biden, and pointed to the current president being the one to waive his predecessor’s sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.