(RepublicanWire.org) – Critics of former President Donald Trump have accused him of being a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin and have mischaracterized his assessment of his strategy in the war with Ukraine as support for it.
But on Saturday, when speaking to a group of Republican donors, the former president made his feelings on the war known to anyone who still had questions about them, but he still took swipes at NATO, which he believes is a “paper tiger,” CBS News reported.
“Are all of these nations going to stand by and watch perhaps millions of people be slaughtered as the onslaught continues?” he said, according to a source. “At what point do countries say, ‘No, we can’t take this massive crime against humanity?’ We can’t let it happen. We can’t let it continue to happen.”
The 45th President of the United States quipped that we should “put the Chinese flag” on F-22 fighter jets and “bomb the s***” out of Russia.
“And then we say, China did it,” the former president said to laughter from the crowd, the source said. “Then they start fighting with each other, and we sit back and watch.”
He also criticized how President Joe Biden has handled the situation by telling Russia what the United States would, and would not, do in relation to the conflict.
“We have to have Biden stop saying that — and this is for everyone to hear — that we will not attack Russia ever because they are a nuclear power, right?” he said. “You know who is saying this? Okay, whether it’s fact or fiction, ‘We will not attack Russia. You see, they are a nuclear power.’ Oh, thanks for telling us.”
He also again hinted about his intentions to win the presidency again in 2024.
“The vote counter is oftentimes more important than the candidate and the Republicans are going to have to get a lot tougher,” he said, the source reported.
“We will see a Republican president reclaim that magnificent White House in 2024,” he said.
His comments came on the same day that Putin said he viewed the sanctions against his nation as being akin to a declaration of war and warned of catastrophic consequences if NATO imposed a no-fly zone, which the White House has said it will not do.
The Russian president said that his goals remained to “demilitarization and de-Nazification” his neighbor nation so that it would be neutral and not a threat, Reuters reported.
“These sanctions that are being imposed are akin to a declaration of war but thank God it has not come to that,” he said to a group of flight attendants at a training center in Moscow for Russian airline Aeroflot.
He said any attempt by another power to impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be considered by Russia to be a step into the military conflict. Such a step he said would have catastrophic consequences for Europe and the world.
The NATO military alliance has rejected Kyiv’s request for a no-fly zone, on the grounds it would escalate the war beyond Ukraine into a far wider conflict, potentially pitting the United States against Russia.
Asked about reports that Russian conscripts had been used in Ukraine, Putin said none had been involved and said the military operation was going to plan.
“There is not one conscript and we don’t plan for there to be,” Putin said. “Our army will fulfill all the tasks. I don’t doubt that at all. Everything is going to plan.”
He also dismissed the idea that martial law would be declared in Russia=.
“We don’t plan to introduce any kind of special regime on Russian territory – there is currently no need,” he said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the Western alliance of nations against Russia of behaving like bandits.
“As you understand, there must be a corresponding response to economic banditry,” he said.
“This does not mean Russia is isolated,” he argued. “The world is too big for Europe and America to isolate a country, and even more so a country as big as Russia. There are many more countries in the world.”
He said that many of the nations boycotting Russia now would someday return, but many would find that their places had been taken by other companies from other nations.
“Russia … has an interest in being attractive for investment. Yes, now is hardly a time when we can talk about being attractive for investment, but times change quickly,” the spokesman said.
“A time of surging economic growth will replace this time. And a time when these same companies will again return to the market, and will be more than interested in catching up on what they’ve missed out on and restoring their positions.
“In some areas, we’ll really wait for them [the companies]. In other places we’ll wait for them less as their places will be taken by companies from other countries,” he said.