During an interview with George Stephanopolous broadcast on today’s edition of ABC’s “This Week,” Donald Trump said that Putin is not going into Ukraine. Asked whether the softening of the plank in the GOP platform on Ukraine — the removal of the language calling for the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine to defend themselves, was a good idea, Trump said Putin wouldn’t go into Ukraine:
TRUMP: Well, look, you know, I have my own ideas. He’s not going into Ukraine, OK?
Just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right?
You can mark it down and you can put it down, you can take it anywhere you want.
Thinking he had a Trump gotcha moment Stephanopolous pounced asking, “Well, he’s already there, isn’t he?” Trump replied “sort of” and moved pointed out that whole part of the world — the Baltic, Ukraine and Crimea, is a mess thanks to Obama:
TRUMP: OK, well, he’s there in a certain way, but I’m not there yet. You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama, with all the strength that you’re talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this, in the meantime, he’s going where — he takes — takes Crimea, he’s sort of — I mean…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you said you might recognize that.
TRUMP: I’m going to take a look at it. But, you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also.
Now, that was under — just so you understand, that was done under Obama’s administration. And as far as the Ukraine is concerned, it’s a mess. And that’s under the Obama’s administration, with his strong ties to NATO.
So with all of these strong ties to NATO, Ukraine is a mess. Crimea has been taken. Don’t blame Donald Trump for that.
Trump went on to say that under President Trump we will have a better relationship with Russia and that is a good thing. This was all took place during a portion of the interview which concerned Trump’s relationship with Russia and Putin and NATO. You can read the entire interview here.
This shows once again that Trump is not steeped in foreign policy. Saying Putin is sort of in Ukraine is splitting some not so fine hairs. Putin’s Russia invaded and annexed Crimea which is still internationally recognized as part of Ukraine. And there is a great deal of evidence that Russian forces are fighting in Eastern Ukraine.
Maybe this is why Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and released embarrassing emails causing problems for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Perhaps Putin believes he can have an easier time trying to restore the Evil Empire with a president Trump.