Tensions once again escalated between Russia and Ukraine this week after Russian President Vladimir Putin, by the powers vested in him by himself, declared two pro-Russia separatist regions in Ukraine as sovereign and began sending Russian troops there.
President Joe Biden, along with European allies, responded with a first round of sanctions cutting off Russia's access to western financing and halting development of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany.
Former President Donald Trump, of course, sounded off with a statement declaring the Russia-Ukraine conflict never would've escalated if he hadn't lost the 2020 election, which he still falsely claims was stolen from him.
Shortly after, Trump spoke on the radio show of right-wing pundit Buck Sexton, where he proceeded to praise Putin's efforts to invade Ukraine, a fledgling democratic nation that broke from the U.S.S.R. in 1991.
Trump praises Putin's 'genius' plan to invade Ukrainewww.youtube.com
"I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, 'This is genius.' Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine—of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that's wonderful. So Putin is now saying, 'It's independent,' a large section of Ukraine. I said, 'How smart is that?' and You know he's gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. We could use that on our southern border. That's the strongest peacekeeping force I've ever seen. There were more army tanks than I've ever seen. They're gonna keep peace all right."
Trump went on to say he knows Putin "very well" and that he is a "guy who's very savvy."
Putin has no legitimate jurisdiction over the two separatist regions—Donetsk and Luhansk—whose sovereignty he acknowledged; just as Vice President Mike Pence had no jurisdiction to unilaterally toss out electoral votes of swing states Trump lost, as the former President claimed Pence did.
It's easy to see why this level of delusion appeals to Trump, who repeatedly defended Putin and even sided with him over U.S. intelligence officials during his presidency, all while weakening Ukraine by pressuring its President to open an investigation into Biden in order to receive aid that Congress had already approved.
So people weren't exactly surprised to see this response, though they were still disgusted.
People were especially disturbed at Trump's claim that so-called "peacekeeper" tanks should be similarly deployed to the United States' southern border.
And yet, Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.