Years after he infamously sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin over U.S. Intelligence officials who confirmed the Russian government sought to interfere with the 2016 election to benefit him, former President Donald Trump continues to heap praise upon the authoritarian leader.
Ahead of Putin's brutal ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Trump lauded Putin's strategy as "smart" and even "genius." Now, in a new interview with right-wing Fox News host, Sean Hannity, Trump bragged about his relationship with the Russian President.
Trump: I knew Putin very well. Almost as well as I know you Sean. pic.twitter.com/Ch0Lvytj7N
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 14, 2022
As Fox News played clips of the casualties of Putin's war, Trump told Hannity:
"One way or the other, I knew Putin very well. Almost as well as I know you, Sean. And I will tell you, we talked about [Ukraine]. We talked about it a lot. He did want Ukraine, but I said, 'You're not going into Ukraine.'"
For those who may not know, Trump and Hannity have long been close. A 2018 New York Magazine report detailed Trump's and Hannity's frequent "late night calls," which occurred nearly every night of the week. Also, in 2018, the Fox News host also spoke onstage at a Trump rally—an action for which he faced a reprimand from the network. When a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol, Hannity was texting Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to urge Trump to intervene.
So it's no flippant sentiment for Trump to claim he knows Putin as well as Hannity, and social media users called him out.
I’m not sure bragging about his friendship with Putin is the defense Trump thinks it is. https://t.co/BLxnkVwodm
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) April 14, 2022
Hannity, Trump, & Putin: bosom buddies. https://t.co/7ihDZ8EPaF
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) April 14, 2022
We would normally edit Trump’s horrific words supporting Putin over footage of Putin’s genocide of innocent Ukrainians. Tonight, Fox did it for us live. https://t.co/nYPTuTNAcH
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) April 14, 2022
Trump is beneath contempt. https://t.co/GgxgaEU2Pk
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) April 14, 2022
They sure did talk about Ukraine. The Russians walked away with the impression that Trump would look the other way if Putin took Donbas. It's mentioned in one of my articles. Putin wanted all of Ukraine and waited until they were ready, no credit to Trump.https://t.co/qfoVKtGwsy
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) April 14, 2022
Trump was the biggest sycophant Putin could ever wish for, happily suffering multiple public humiliations to appease the tastes and interests of his Russian master. https://t.co/fYGV9MBdak
— Colben Ash (@AshColben) April 14, 2022
Others said Trump only knew Putin to the extent that Putin wanted to use him.
The truth is: Trump didn’t know or understand Putin at all. But he admired him. And he got deeply and dangerously played by Putin. https://t.co/34mQfTxQ9T
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) April 14, 2022
He's probably convinced himself this is true by now. And he's way too out of it to figure out that this is not a good thing to be bragging about these days. https://t.co/qbWFHWhkLT
— Khashoggi’s Ghost 🇺🇦🌻 (@UROCKlive1) April 14, 2022
Putin knew Trump was a sucker for flattery and ass kissing. https://t.co/u9p815yc2f pic.twitter.com/W1AJjwy0Q2
— Sko Hayes (@skohayes) April 14, 2022
Putin's aggression toward Ukraine has resulted in thousands of casualties with no signs of stopping.