REMINDER: Trump is Putin’s #1 Fan

From the moment Russia launched its unprovoked attack on Ukraine, Donald Trump has been shamelessly cheering on Vladimir Putin – his favorite dictator. It’s long been clear that Trump will say and do anything to cozy up to Putin, but his words and actions over the last two months have made it crystal clear: Trump would rather praise Putin and attack our allies in NATO, even as Putin bombs innocent Ukrainians. 

For the last two months, Donald Trump has relentlessly praised Putin as “smart,” “savvy,” and a “genius.” 

Politico: “Trump calls Putin ‘genius’ and ‘savvy’ for Ukraine invasion”

Insider: “Trump again praised ‘smart’ Putin amid Ukraine invasion and said the US had become a ‘stupid country’”

CNN: “Donald Trump just can’t stop praising Vladimir Putin”

MSNBC: “Even now, Trump continues to praise Putin’s ‘intelligence’”

Insider: “Trump once again praises authoritarian leaders, calling Putin’s soldiers on the border of Ukraine ‘a great negotiation’”

At the same time, Trump has refused multiple opportunities to condemn Putin or offer any criticism of his favorite dictator. 

Rolling Stone: “Trump Refuses to Condemn Putin Despite Sean Hannity Practically Begging Him To” 

Politico: “’I got along’: Trump avoids criticizing Putin”

MSNBC: “Even now, Trump still can’t quite bring himself to condemn Putin”

Washington Post: “Repeatedly, Hannity tried to elicit Trump into calling Putin evil or something amounting to it. And repeatedly, Trump declined, instead focusing on tangential issues. When he did lament the atrocious scenes in Ukraine, he talked about it merely as something ‘sad’ or regrettable that was happening, rather than attaching it to Putin.”

Instead, Trump has spent his time attacking NATO – the same alliance that he spent years undermining and likely would have pulled the U.S. out of if he had won a second term. 

Newsweek: “Donald Trump Condemns NATO When Asked About Russia’s ‘Evil’ Actions”

Washington Post: “Trump says he threatened not to defend NATO against Russia”

Washington Examiner: “Trump also highlighted the strong-arming he engaged in to convince NATO countries to increase their defense budgets. The former president conceded that he essentially threatened to ignore the treaty’s Article 5 commitment that an attack on one is an attack on all.”

Washington Post: “As president, Trump claimed he supported NATO, but he regularly attacked other countries for not paying enough, and plenty of reporting indicates he wanted the United States to exit the alliance altogether in his second term.”

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton: “In a second Trump term, I think he may well have withdrawn from NATO … And I think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin was waiting for that.”