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Trump again praised 'smart' Putin amid Ukraine invasion and said the US had become a 'stupid country'

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek on February 26, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek on February 26, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Donald Trump praised "smart" Vladimir Putin, who on Thursday launched an invasion of Ukraine.

  • During his speech at CPAC, Trump also criticized "weak" Joe Biden and "not so smart" NATO nations.

  • Trump said that the real problem was not that Putin was smart, but that "our leaders are dumb."

Former President Donald Trump again praised "smart" Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched an invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.

"Yesterday, I was asked by reporters if I thought President Putin was smart. I said, 'of course he's smart,'" Trump told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday night.

"The problem is not that Putin is smart, which of course he is smart, but the real problem is that our leaders are dumb," Trump said.

Trump has long expressed admiration for Putin, and this week described his war strategy in Ukraine as "wonderful" and "genius."

Democrats and military veterans have criticized the former president for his complimentary words about the Russian leader amidst a brutal attack on an independent nation.

In his CPAC speech, Trump said the invasion of Ukraine was an "atrocity" and placed the blame on President Joe Biden and "not so smart" North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations.

"The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling, an outrage and an atrocity that should have never been allowed to occur. We are praying for the proud people of Ukraine. God bless them all," Trump said.

"When you have a weak president who is not respected by other nations, you have a very chaotic world. The world hasn't been this chaotic since World War Two."

Trump claimed that America was "powerful, cunning and smart" under his leadership but is now "a stupid country."

Trump claimed that Russia's invasion would not have taken place if he was president and praised the "brave" Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

He criticized the US and NATO nations' response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, claiming there had been "no repercussions."

"If you take over Ukraine, we're going to sanction you, they say. Sanction? Well, that's a pretty weak statement," Trump said.

"Putin is saying, 'oh, they're going to sanction me? They've sanctioned me for the last 25 years. You mean I can take over a whole country, and they're going to sanction me? You mean they're not going to blow us to pieces, at least psychologically?'"

As Ukraine is not a member of NATO, its members have no legal obligation to act on Ukraine's behalf.

However, NATO has taken several actions in response to the Russian invasion, including sending weapons to Ukraine and deploying thousands of troops to Ukraine's neighbors.

Trump was impeached in 2019 after withholding nearly $400 million in military aid from Ukraine and appearing to pressure Zelensky into investigating Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

When later questioned what he would do differently in response to Russia's invasion if he were president, Trump was evasive.

"I would do things, but the last thing I would want to do is say it right now," Trump told a reporter on Saturday night.

Read the original article on Business Insider