Former US President Donald Trump has expressed his belief that getting along with Russia, which has the largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world, is a positive thing. Speaking at a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Trump reiterated his claims that he could resolve the Ukraine conflict in a matter of hours.
Addressing his supporters, Trump stated, “The fake news hates when I say I know [Russian President Vladimir Putin] well. They hate when I say I got along with him. You know, it’s good to get along.” He further noted, “They have more nuclear weapons than us, or just about the same, but a little more than us,” adding that this aspect is often overlooked when discussing the Ukraine conflict.
Trump expressed concern about the current position of the United States, referring to it as a “very stupid, dangerous position right now.” He emphasized the importance of maintaining a cooperative relationship with Russia, given their substantial nuclear arsenal.
The former US leader is currently campaigning for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, despite facing legal challenges. Special counsel Jack Smith recently announced new charges against him, related to the alleged mishandling of classified materials after leaving office. Trump, however, claims to be a victim of what he calls a “witch hunt” by the Democratic Party and “the deep state.”
Trump reiterated his belief that if he were serving a second term, the conflict in Ukraine would not have occurred. He attributed this to the respect Russia and Putin had for him during his presidency. According to Trump, he could have put an end to the hostilities within 24 hours if re-elected.
During his speech, Trump recounted a situation where he claimed to have intimidated Putin with undisclosed information. “I said, ‘it’s gonna really be bad,'” Trump recalled. “He said, ‘You wouldn’t do it,’ and I said, ‘Yes, I will.’ And he didn’t believe me, but you know, he believed me 10%. But that’s all he needed.”
In addition to his approach with Putin, Trump also mentioned using similar tactics with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The remarks made by Trump at the campaign rally highlight his belief in the importance of maintaining amicable relations with countries possessing significant nuclear capabilities. He argues that this approach can contribute to global stability, particularly in situations like the Ukraine conflict. However, it is essential to note that Trump’s assertions about his personal influence over world leaders should be examined critically, considering the context of his presidency and political rhetoric.