Former President Donald Trump said ‘we’re in a very bad position’ after Russian President Vladimir Putin was ’emboldened’ to invade Ukraine after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
‘We’re in a really bad position right now,’ Trump, 75, said on Fox and Friends Weekend.
‘I think [Putin] got a lot more ambitious. I think he wanted to negotiate for a period of time, [but] when he watched Afghanistan – when he watched the unbelievably bad withdrawal – where [the U.S.] took out the military first and left $85 billion worth of equipment behind for the Taliban to use. And of course the deaths.
‘When they watched all of them, I think they got emboldened,’ he said Saturday. ‘It’s shocking because it should have never happened, it would have never happened [if I was in office].
‘I knew him very well. I stopped his pipeline, I sanctioned him more than everybody else sanctioned them,’ Trump said of Russia. ‘Nobody was ever tougher on Russia, but I got along with Putin very well, we respected each other.’
Russia is reportedly planning to invade Ukraine on Wednesday, the U.S. reported after Secret Service, the CIA and the Pentagon said they received ‘exceptionally detailed’ invasion plans that were scheduled for February 16 – causing President Joe Biden, 79, to arrange a phone call, that ended earlier Saturday, with Putin, 69.
‘I don’t think Putin is going to be listening,’ Trump said on Fox and Friends Weekend. ‘The phone call is very perfunctory, I don’t think much is going to come out of it.
Trump was later spotted golfing in West Palm Beach, Florida, after his morning call into Fox.
Former President Donald Trump, 75, said Russian President Vladimir Putin, 69, was ’emboldened’ to potentially invade Ukraine after watching the ‘unbelievably bad’ withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan
Trump went golfing on Saturday morning after his phone call with Fox and Friends Weekend
No invasion worries here! Trump golfs his heart out after slamming Biden, saying he didn’t think the phone call between the US President and Putin would amount to anything
Trump enjoyed the sunny Florida weather as he waited for his turn
President Biden told Putin on Saturday morning that Russia would face ‘swift and severe’ economic and political costs if it invaded Ukraine, amid frantic efforts to persuade Moscow to pull back from the brink.
They held an hour-long conversation a day after U.S. officials said they believed Putin could launch an invasion at any time, and as diplomats began leaving the Embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
‘President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,’ said the White House after the call finished.
‘President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia’s standing.’
A senior administration official characterized their conversation as ‘professional.’
The call came 24 hours after the U.S. told Americans to get out of Ukraine and gave its bleakest warning yet that an invasion was coming.
The ‘detailed’ plans officials received are said to contain specific routes that might be taken by individual Russian units and detail what roles they might play in the conflict. German news site Der Speigel suggests the US is mulling whether to make the plans public in a bid to undermine them.
However, the Ukrainian president is now demanding the US share their intelligence with them.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a live broadcast on Saturday: ‘If [the US is] 100 percent certain information about a Russian invasion of Ukraine, please share it with us.’
Active military movements have been going on for months with many countries warning Putin they will not stand for an invasion, as the West fears war.
The White House confirmed that Biden and Putin would discuss the crisis by phone today – just hours after thousands of Brits and Americans were warned to get out of Ukraine while they still can, as tensions reached boiling point.
Russia has been practicing drills (pictured) near the Ukrainian border and in the Black Sea as they prepare for a potential invasion on Wednesday. US intelligence received ‘detailed’ reports of supposed Russian invasion plans scheduled for February 16
The US has moved its soldiers into a temporary based in Poland (pictured) ahead of the attack as officials warn all US citizens to leave Ukraine immediately
With increased Russian movement and the reported invasion plans, President Biden urgently arranged a call earlier on Saturday with Putin
Russian jets fly over the Grodno region in Belarus on Saturday. The US fears Putin could launch an ‘aerial bombardment’ on Kiev, causing them to evacuate the US Embassy
The warning came amid fears that Putin could launch an ‘aerial bombardment’ of Kiev, risking a high civilian death toll.
Several other countries have now told its citizens to leave the country, including Belgium, which warned on Saturday there would be ‘no guarantee of evacuation’ following a ‘sudden deterioration,’ as ‘communication links including internet and telephone lines could be seriously affected’ and air travel hampered.
Earlier on Saturday, the US State Department ordered non-emergency personnel at the Kiev Embassy to evacuation, just hours after the White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan urged Americans to leave the country.
All American citizens still in Ukraine are now advised to leave immediately, and on Saturday morning the Pentagon ordered the evacuation of 160 Florida National Guardsmen, who had been training Ukrainian forces and represented the final US troop presence in the country.
A small skeleton crew of US diplomats will fall back to a consulate in Lviv in far western Ukraine to handle emergencies. The fallback position is close to the border with Poland, allowing for easier extraction of the staff if the situation deteriorates.
US and Polish officials are now said to be scouting for locations to establish fortified border control points along the Poland-Ukraine frontier to process Americans fleeing by land, in the event an attack halts commercial air flights.
The Pentagon has deployed an additional 3,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division to Poland, bolstering the force of 1,700 already there, and the US forces are expected to assist with border control and evacuee processing.
A Unity March in Kiev took place on Saturday, just days before they are supposed to be attacked
They held signs saying ‘…say no to Putin.’ Officials worry the Capitol will hit hard and lead to many civilian deaths
One girl held a sign reading ‘invaders must die’ as she participated at the march on Saturday
However, the State Department warns that the US government will not send any troops into Ukraine to extract Americans in the event of a Russian military incursion.
In an alert, the State Department said that the US Embassy in Kiev would suspend all consular services starting on Sunday as diplomatic staff evacuate, in a sign that the US fears a Russian assault could reach the Ukrainian capital
‘As we’ve said before, we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time, should Vladimir Putin decide to order it,’ Sullivan said at a White House press conference.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also warned on Saturday that the crisis had reached a ‘pivotal moment,’ adding that there continues to be ‘very troubling signs of Russian escalation,’ including new forces arriving around Ukraine’s borders.
Images released Saturday show Russian and Belarusian forces testing multiple rocket launchers mounted on snow camouflaged trucks, while a major Russian sea drill was launched in the Black Sea.
But despite the sabre-rattling drills, Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Newsweek magazine that the US warnings of an invasion were ‘alarmist’ and repeated that his country was ‘not going to attack anyone.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk