17.2 C
New York
September 25, 2023

Trump says he’s pleased by Putin’s praise: ‘I like that he said that’

Trump says he’s pleased by Putin’s praise: ‘I like that he said that’

Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that he appreciated recent praise from Russian leader Vladimir Putin. In an exclusive interview with NBC “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker, Trump said it meant “what I’m saying is right,” referring to his positions on the war in Ukraine.

Trump readily claimed in the interview that if re-elected president, he would resolve the war within 24 hours, though he provided few details about how he would end a conflict that has dragged on for more than 18 months. The former president has asserted several times that he could quickly end the war.

“If I tell you exactly, I lose all my bargaining chips. I mean, you can’t really say exactly what you’re going to do. But I would say certain things to Putin. I would say certain things to Zelenskyy,” he said, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Putin, Russia’s longtime leader, said at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, last week that he had heard “that Mr. Trump says he will resolve all burning issues within several days, including the Ukrainian crisis. We cannot help but feel happy about it.”

Then-President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in 2017.Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images file

Trump said he was pleased by Putin’s comments.

“I like that he said that,” he told Welker. “Because that means what I’m saying is right. I would get him into a room. I’d get Zelenskyy into a room. Then I’d bring them together. And I’d have a deal worked out.”

This is Welker’s first interview as moderator of “Meet the Press,” and it will air in full Sunday on NBC stations nationwide. Welker, who covered Trump in the White House, pressed the former president several times to clearly explain how he would end the war.

Tune into “Meet the Press with Kristen Welker” this Sunday for more from Welker’s exclusive interview with former President Donald Trump. Check local listings.

Trump continued to avoid an explanation of what his plan would entail, though he claimed he would “make a fair deal for everybody” when asked if he would allow the Kremlin to keep Ukrainian territory that Russian forces had illegally seized by force.

Trump remains the front-runner in the polls for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Some of his competitors have criticized him for de-emphasizing the war in Ukraine as a U.S. national security interest, while others — such as Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — have adopted his denunciations of the contributions made by American allies, especially compared to those by NATO.

Though Trump did not make clear what he would do in office regarding the conflict, he frequently argued during the interview that there would not have been a war if he had remained president.

Read More