Months after claiming he could end Russia’s war on Ukraine in 24 hours, former president Donald Trump has finally offered an explanation for why he thinks it’d be so simple for him.
Mr Trump was asked for his specific plan to bring the war to an end in an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo over the weekend.
His asserted that it would boil down to his established relationships with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I know Zelensky very well, I know Putin very well—even better—and I had a very good relationship with both of them,” he said.
He said he would tell Mr Zelensky: “No more, you gotta make a deal,” and Mr Putin: “If you don’t make a deal, we’re gonna give them a lot. We’re gonna give more than they ever got.”
Mr Trump also called Mr Zelensky “very honourable” because “when they asked him about the perfect phone call I made…he said he didn’t even know what they were talking about.”
This “perfect phone call” was the 25 July 2019 call between Mr Trump and Mr Zelensky, in which the US president offered a “quid pro quo” agreement to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart into pushing baseless conspiracies about his Democratic 2020 rival, Joe Biden, in exchange for US aid, according to a whistleblower complaint.
This exchange eventually led to the former president’s abuse of power violation resulting in his first impeachment.
Mr Trump has long insisted that he would be the best person to help bring the war in Ukraine to an end.
“If I were president, and I say this, I will end that war in one day, it would take 24 hours,” Mr Trump said in a May interview.
“I know Zelensky well, I know Putin well. I would get that ended in a period of 24 hours. It would be easy, that deal would be easy.”
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