Trump praises Putin as ‘genius’ and ‘very savvy’ for invading Ukraine

Former President Trump Tuesday praised Russian strongman Vladimir Putin as a “genius” for invading portions of Ukraine — and blasted President Biden for weakness.

Showering praise on a top geopolitical rival of America, Trump said the “very savvy” Putin outsmarted Biden by recognizing two breakaway regions as independent nations.

“This is genius: Putin declares a big portion of Ukraine as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful ... I said: How smart is that?’” Trump said.

Trump said Putin was clever to frame his invasion force as a way to protect the separatist regions even though the U.S. and its allies have entirely rejected Putin’s description.

“He’s going to go in as a peacekeeping force that’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen,” Trump said on a right-wing podcast hosted by Clay Travis and Buddy Sexton. “You gotta say: that’s pretty savvy.”

Trump also improbably sought to link the Ukraine crisis to his unending campaign of lies about the 2020 election that Biden won: “What went wrong was a rigged election ... what went wrong is a candidate who should never be there.”

Touting his close relationship with the Russian president, Trump suggested that he would have figured out a way to prevent Putin from moving troops into the Russian-backed separatist provinces of Ukraine without offering any specifics.

“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” Trump said. “I know Vladimir Putin very well, and he would have never done during the Trump administration what he is doing now, no way!”

Trump mocked Biden’s response to Putin after the U.S. announced significant financial penalties that will hit Russian financial institutions and oligarchs.

“The weak sanctions are insignificant relative to taking over a country and a massive piece of strategically located land,” Trump opined in an email statement.

Trump claimed that Russia would benefit from the crisis because uncertainty would surely push higher oil prices.

“Russia has become very, very rich during the Biden administration, with oil prices doubling and soon to be tripling and quadrupling,” he said. “Now ... oil prices are going higher and higher.”

Trump called the invasion a win-win scenario for Putin because he gained control of regions he coveted and drove up the price of Russia’s main exports in the process.

“Putin is not only getting what he always wanted, but getting, because of the oil and gas surge, richer and richer,” Trump said.