On Wednesday night, Russian president Vladimir Putin began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine after weeks of amassing Russian troops at the Ukrainian border and just days after sending Russian troops to pro-separatist regions of Ukraine, which Putin claimed were sovereign.
In remarks announcing a new wave of sanctions following the attack, President Joe Biden said:
"Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences."
As the invasion unfolded, former President Donald Trump hosted an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort featuring a number of conservative congressional candidates, such as Georgia Senate hopeful Herschel Walker.
In a rambling speech, Trump had quite a different take than Biden as he remarked on the Russian state's invasion, predictably insisting it never would've happened on his watch and even praising the authoritarian Putin.
Trump told the crowd:
"Putin's smart. I mean, he's taken over a country for two dollars' worth of sanctions, I'd say that's pretty smart. He's taken over a country, a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people, just walking right in. This would've never happened, ever in a million years, never happened. And I know him very well, I know him probably almost as well as I know anybody in this room, other than [GOP Congressman and former White House physician Ronny Jackson of Texas]."
Until Trump mentioned Jackson, who's currently running for reelection, the crowd was eerily silent listening to Trump praise the invasion, with only the clinking of glasses and silverware to accompany him.
Social media users noticed, including Biden's deputy press secretary, Andrew Bates.
The comments further confirmed Trump's character to his critics.
Earlier this week, when Putin declared pro-Russia separatist regions in Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk) as sovereign before sending Russian troops into the regions, Trump praised the move as "genius."