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Tucker Isn’t Going to Like What Trump Just Said About Ukraine

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged greater U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war, saying “we should be helping [Ukraine] survive.”

SO WHAT

Trump appears to be aligning with most Republicans on the war, thereby putting himself uncharacteristically at odds with Tucker Carlson conservatives.

WHAT TRUMP SAID

Trump expressed unwavering support for Ukraine in an interview with Fox Business’ Stuart Varney and condemned Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian president is killing “tens of thousands of people. Far more than they’re reporting.”

Asked what the U.S. should do to aid the besieged Ukrainians, Trump suggested going further than sending weapons and military equipment, such as the MiG-29 fighter jets nixed by the Biden administration.

  • “And we say, ‘Oh, [Putin’s] a nuclear power.’ But we’re a greater nuclear power … We have the greatest submarines in the world, the most powerful machines ever built,” he told Varney.
  • “You should say, ‘Look, you mention that word one more time, we’re going to send them over and we’ll be coasting back and forth, up and down your coast,” Trump said. “You can’t let this tragedy continue. You can’t let these thousands of people die.”
  • At another point in the interview, Trump said that during private conversations with Putin while he was in office, he’d heard the Russian leader use the “N-word,” which he later clarified was “nuclear.”

Trump also slammed Joe Biden, accusing the president of lacking a firm hand in navigating the geopolitical crisis.

  • He claimed the Russia-Ukraine war “would have never started” if he were still in the White House.

AMERICA FIRST?

Some of Trump’s America First supporters in Congress and beyond have spoken out against U.S. entanglement in the Russia-Ukraine war.

  • Eight Republicans, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, voted Thursday against a bill that would end normal trade relations with Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
  • J.D. Vance, a pro-Trump GOP Senate candidate in Ohio, caught flak for saying last month: “I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another.”
  • Carlson, too, has faced heavy criticism for using his popular Fox News shows to push back on U.S. confrontation of Russia, warning of the economic costs and the threat of nuclear war.

SURVEY SAYS

According to recent polls, most Republicans agree with Trump, not Tucker, when it comes to America’s Russia policy.

  • A Washington Post-ABC poll last month found that 58% of Republicans support sanctioning the country, even if it means higher energy prices in the U.S.
  • 76% of GOP voters back a recent U.S. ban on Russian gas and oil imports, per a Monmouth University Poll released last week.
  • The same poll showed 65% of Republicans think the United States should send troops to support our European allies as a deterrent to keep Russia from invading those countries.

OK, BUT

Some political observers have argued the public’s “rally around the flag” response to the Russia-Ukraine war could quickly falter.

Before the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, polls showed broad support for the use of military force.

  • But that changed as the war wore on, with public opinion eventually turning overwhelmingly unfavorable.
  • In 2016, Trump won the presidency in part by bashing the Iraq war as a historic mistake and pledging to end America’s “forever wars.”

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