Journalist rips apart Eric Trump’s claim that Putin wouldn’t have attacked Ukraine on his father’s watch

Journalist rips apart Eric Trump’s claim that Putin wouldn’t have attacked Ukraine on his father’s watch

While some MAGA Republicans have been praising Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2022 — Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming calls them the “Putin wing of the GOP” — others have claimed that President Joe Biden is to blame for the invasion, insisting that Putin wouldn’t have dared to invade Ukraine if Donald Trump were still president. One such MAGA Republican is Eric Trump, who Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin tears apart in a scathing column published on March 15.

“Why didn’t Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine while Donald Trump was president?” Levin writes. “Setting aside the fact that the Russian president has effectively been invading Ukraine since 2014, the reason Putin didn’t wage a full-scale war against the neighboring country while Trump was in office is that, more than likely, he didn’t think the Russian military was ready. At least, that’s the assessment of former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has actual knowledge of this stuff. But what does Eric Trump, who doesn’t know anything about anything, think? Let’s find out!”

Levin goes on to discuss Eric Trump’s Monday, March 14 appearance on far-right carnival barker Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. The former president’s son told Hannity, “Putin was in with the KBG; he can read people, and he could tell that Donald Trump was a very strong person…. Listen, my father would call up and would have said, ‘Vladimir, don’t even think about it, don’t even try us. I’m telling you it’s not going to work out very well for you.’”

Such “fan fiction,” Levin stresses, is contradicted by the facts.

“Of course, in reality, Putin more than likely knew he could get away with anything he wanted while Trump was in office, and we know this because he did,” Levin recalls. “As a reminder, between the years 2016 and 2020, Trump: publicly sided with Putin over his own intelligence agencies re. Russia’s 2016 presidential election meddling; claimed it was Ukraine that meddled in the election, a line straight out of the Kremlin’s playbook; talked to Putin, i.e., the guy whose country actually interfered in the 2016 election, about forming a ‘cybersecurity unit’ with Russia to combat ‘election hacking.’”

Levin adds that when Trump was in the White House, he also “repeatedly pressed for Russia to be let back in an expanded G7, which it had been kicked out of for annexing Crimea; made excuses for killings by Putin, saying the U.S. is just as bad; leaked classified information from another country to Russia; allowed Russia to expand its influence in Syria.”

The Vanity Fair columnist points out that Trump “bizarrely defended the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, insisting Russia was ‘right to be there.’”

Eric Trump, Levin notes, “isn’t the only Trump boy spinning historical fan fiction about his father.”

“In a video uploaded to Twitter last week,” Levin explains, “Donald Trump, Jr. insisted that when the former president praises dictators like Putin, he’s not doing so because there’s something uniquely wrong with him, but because he’s playing a high-level game of 3D chess. ‘He knew exactly how to play these guys, and he played it like a fiddle,’ Junior claimed — a statement that would take a family therapist years to unpack.”

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