White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates hammered former President Donald Trump for heaping praise for days on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
‘Two nauseating, fearful pigs who hate what America stands for and whose every action is driven by their their own weakness and insecurity, rubbing their snouts together and celebrating as innocent people lose their lives,’ Bates tweeted from his official government account Thursday morning.
Bates shared an article about Trump telling a crowd at Mar-a-Lago Wednesday night – as Putin began his assault on Ukraine – that the Russian leader was ‘pretty smart.’
Overnight Thursday, Russia launched a war on Ukraine, with Ukrainian officials already putting the death toll in the hundreds. By Thursday afternoon, the Ukrainian army was fighting Russians in nearly every part of the country – including Chernobyl, which could have widespread environmental repercussions.
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates hammered former President Donald Trump (left) for heaping praise for days on Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)
Bates called Trump and Putin ‘two nauseating fearful pigs’ and said they were ‘rubbing their snouts together and celebrating as innocent people lose their lives’
Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates
The deadly assault didn’t change Trump’s mind on his posture on Russian and Ukraine.
‘He’s taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart,’ the ex-president said at his Florida resort, according to a recording obtained by The New York Times.
‘He’s taking over a country, really a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people, just walking right in,’ Trump added.
Trump has made similar laudatory comments about Putin for days.
On Tuesday, Trump told podcaster Buck Sexton that he thought Putin declaring two sections of Ukraine ‘independent’ was ‘genius.’
‘I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius,” Trump said. ‘Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine – of Ukraine – Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful.’
‘I said, “How smart is that?'” the former U.S. president continued. ‘And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force… 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,’ Trump went on. ‘I know him very well. Very, very, very well. Had I been in office, not even thinkable, this never would have happened.’
Ukrainian military vehicles move past Independence Square in central Kyiv as cities across the nation have been hit with what Ukrainian officials said were Russian missile strikes and artillery
Trump added: ‘But here’s a guy that says, you know, “I’m gonna declare a big portion of Ukraine independent,” he used the word ‘independent’ and ‘we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy. And you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn’t have one for that. No, it’s very sad. Very sad.’
Trump also called Biden ‘a man who has no concept of what he’s doing.’
Later Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki hit back at Trump.
‘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,’ Psaki replied at the Tuesday briefing when asked to react to the comments Trump made earlier in the day.
She pointed to comments Trump reportedly made to G7 leaders in 2018, when the now former president said that Crimea, which was annexed by Russia after a 2014 invasion, was a part of Russia because everyone there spoke Russian.
And said that Trump had ‘expressed an openness’ to lifting sanctions on Russia for the 2014 invasion.
‘So there’s a bit of a different tactic, a bit of a different approach, and that’s probably why President Biden and not his predecessor was able to rally the world and the global community in taking steps against Russia’s aggression,’ Psaki said.
When asked if there were concerns comments like Trump’s could lead to support of Ukraine becoming a more partisan issue among the American public, she pointed a finger at the Republican Party.
‘You know, I think that is up to members of the Republican Party to make the decision, to make the determination,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘There has been a long history, decades of history, which President Biden was a part of when he was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, of standing up to the efforts of any country to seize the territory of another country, standing up for efforts by the United States to rally global support against inappropriate and illegal actions by another country,’ she continued. ‘There’s a long history of that not in a partisan way – in a partisan way.’
‘And certainly that choice is up to Republicans to … determine,’ she added.