Liz Cheney accuses Trump of ‘aiding our enemies’ by calling Putin a ‘genius’ for Ukraine invasion

‘Trump’s interests don’t seem to align with the interests of the United States of America’

Wednesday 23 February 2022 15:45 GMT
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Jen Psaki slams Trump for calling Putin’s invasion of Ukraine ‘genius’ and ‘smart’

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney has accused Donald Trump of aiding America’s “enemies” after he called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine both “genius” and “savvy”.

Ms Cheney tweeted on Tuesday night: “Trump’s adulation of Putin today – including calling him a ‘genius’ – aids our enemies.

“Trump’s interests don’t seem to align with the interests of the United States of America”

Her remarks came hours after Mr Trump told podcast hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton that Russia’s president was a “genius” for declaring two eastern regions of Ukraine as independent.

Mr Putin later sent a so called “peacekeeping” force into the region, which many – including the Biden White House – determined to be an invasion of Ukraine territory.

“I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine – of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Mr Trump told the podcast. “So, Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper.”

US President Joe Biden and the country’s European and NATO allies have strongly condemned Mr Putin’s attempts at annexing parts of Ukraine, with a swathe of sanctions designed to hurt Russia announced on Tuesday.

Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney
Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney (REUTERS)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki meanwhile condemned Mr Trump – who has spoken fondly of Mr Putin before – and told reporters: “As a matter of policy, we try not to take advice from anyone who praises president Putin and his military strategy, which I believe is what happened there”.

Mr Trump went on to tell The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show that “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 gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy…I know him very well. Very, very well.”

Russia has said a diplomatic solution to current tensions could still be found, although many doubt whether such a solution exists with the country continuing to deploy hundreds of thousands of its troops on Ukraine’s borders.

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