Former US President Donald Trump on Saturday addressed criticism that was levelled at him earlier this week after he described Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine as "genius" and "pretty savvy."
Speaking at CPAC 2022 in Florida, Trump clarified, "The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling. We are praying for the proud people of Ukraine. God bless them all."
He praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling him "brave" as he stays in Kyiv.
Trump did say he think that Putin is “smart” but also that American and NATO leaders are dumb. He opined that President Joe Biden’s weakness and the failures in the Afghanistan withdrawal are what prompted Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
“Nobody could ever believe how bad and weak and grossly incompetent he has been. And when you have a weak president who is not respected by other nations, you have a very chaotic world,” said Trump. “And the world hasn’t been this chaotic since World War II.”
“I have no doubt that President Putin made his decision to ruthlessly attack Ukraine only after watching the pathetic withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the military was taken out first,” he added. “Our soldiers were killed and American hostages, plus 85 billion dollars worth of the finest equipment anywhere in the world were left behind.”
Trump also cited Russia's invasion of Georgia under President George W. Bush and Crimea under President Barack Obama.
"I stand as the only president of the 21st century on whose watch Russia did not invade another country," he stated.