Before and throughout his time in the White House, former President Donald Trump repeatedly praised authoritarian leaders while publicly berating U.S. allies.
Trump had his "love letters" with North Korea's Kim Jong Un and gave "high marks" to Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, but no adversary enjoyed more praise from Trump than Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The former President infamously sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence officials, believing Putin when he claimed Russia didn't attempt to interfere in the 2016 election to benefit Trump (they did). This praise would continue for years. Even after Putin's recent invasion of Ukraine, the fledgling democratic nation that broke from the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Trump praised Putin's strategy as "smart" and even "genius."
Now, Trump's former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has revealed to hosts of The View what Trump admired most about Putin.
"[Trump] really admired Putin and I saw that firsthand," former Trump White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham (@OMGrisham) tells #TheView.
"I think he feared him. I think he was afraid of him. I think the man intimidated him." https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/EhMpyewJAs
— The View (@TheView) March 8, 2022
Grisham claimed that Trump would be taking a "completely hands off approach" to Putin's invasion of Ukraine, further revealing that Trump told Putin "Hey, I'm gonna be tough on you in front of the cameras, you understand, and once the cameras are gone, we'll have a real conversation."
"I also think he admired [Putin] greatly. I think [Trump] wanted to be able to kill whoever spoke out against him. ... In my experience with him again, I'll just say, he loved the dictators. He loved the people who could kill anyone including the press."
People weren't surprised at Grisham's claims.
They’re all the same — weak, insecure, vindictive, liars, frauds, criminals
— Kylie Speer (@KylieSpeer) March 9, 2022
He was taking lessons on how to turn a democracy into an authoritarian country. He's still trying
— Shay💙 RESIST (@Shay88313166) March 9, 2022
It's almost like there's a pattern of behavior https://t.co/QqKsk01BnY
— Austin Reynolds (@ReynoldsAustin) March 9, 2022
This is shocking to literally no one. https://t.co/bUlsPzw9Bz
— Sarah Bear-uh (@Mota_Mom) March 9, 2022
Yes. Impotent men often admire brutes, thinking that will balance out their complete lack of worth. (Never works, though.)
— Teri Lass (@TeriLass_61) March 9, 2022
Others hadn't forgotten Grisham's time in the White House and her previous support for Trump.
Oh. My. Gosh. Former Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is today's guest host? When she was Trump's PressSec, she did not hold A. Single. Press. Conference. And now she wants to talk? No thank you! Good day, ma'am, I say to you good day! #TheView
— LaurenBaratzLogsted (@LaurenBaratzL) March 8, 2022
Stephanie Grisham didn’t hold one press briefing while she was Press Secretary. Why are you helping her rehabilitate her image? She needs to answer that. #TheView
— MWhiteGenX (@MWhiteKnight11) March 8, 2022
So sick of these people remaining silent til the book deal is signed...
— MakeAmericaNorwegianAgain 🇺🇦 🌻 (@pieper444) March 9, 2022
Giving Stephanie Grisham a seat at the table is the ultimate hypocrisy after railing against all of Trump's enablers for the past 4 years.
Hope her public comments about Trump's adoration of dictators earns her an "invitation" from the @January6thCmte to learn what else she saw.
— Social✽Fly (@socflyny) March 8, 2022
Grisham is currently promoting a memoir about her time in the Trump administration.