Trump condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine | The Daily Leader of the North

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Former US President Donald Trump has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and says he prays for Ukrainians, marking a dramatic change in tone from earlier in the week when he praised of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump delivered his remarks at a conservative policy conference in Florida, hours after the United States and its allies announced sweeping new sanctions. The sanctions will kick some Russian banks out of major global payment systems and limit the Russian central bank’s ability to support the rouble. Earlier this week, Trump angered some members of the Republican Party by describing Putin’s actions in Ukraine, where cities have been pounded by Russian artillery and cruise missiles, as “brilliant” and “pretty savvy.” Addressing an adoring crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Trump expressed empathy for Ukrainians and this time praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, calling him “brave” as he remains in Kiev, the capital. “The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling. We pray for the proud Ukrainian people. God bless them all,” Trump said. Trump also used his pulpit at CPAC, which bills itself as the world’s largest conservative gathering, to hit out at Democratic President Joe Biden, saying Putin took advantage of his “weakness” to attack. Trump linked the invasion to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, one of his fixations, again erroneously claiming fraud was to blame for Biden’s victory. “As everyone understands, this horrible disaster would never have happened if our election hadn’t been rigged and if I were the president,” he said, to which a woman in the audience filled replied: “You are the president!” Trump also cited the Russian invasion of Georgia under George W Bush and Crimea under Barack Obama before declaring, “I’m the only president in the 21st century under whose watch Russia hasn’t invaded another country.” . Trump addressed his past praise for Putin, saying he was right that Putin was smart because he was ahead of world leaders. “The real problem is that our leaders are stupid, stupid. So stupid,” he said. In an interview published earlier on Saturday, Biden mocked Trump’s comment that Putin is a “genius.” “I place as much importance on Trump saying Putin is a genius as I did when he called himself a stable genius,” Biden said. During the four-day CPAC conference in Orlando, Fla., which ends Sunday, conservatives repeated that Putin decided to invade Ukraine because he knew Biden was “weak.” However, Republican politicians have largely avoided praising Putin, and hot-button domestic issues, like mask mandates, have figured far more heavily than foreign policy. Australian Associated Press

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