Trump claims ‘ignorant and foolish’ DeSantis comments about Putin could lead to nuclear war

Former president also brags he is only 2024 candidate who can prevent Third World War

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 31 March 2023 01:31 BST
Donald Trump takes aim at Ron DeSantis over Russia comments

In his latest campaign video posted to Truth Social, Donald Trump again took aim at Ron DeSantis, this time slamming him for his recent remarks on Russia which took a tougher stance regarding Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

The former president sought to tie the Florida governor to remarks made in the past by Senator Mitt Romney and even the late Senator John McCain.

“Calling Russia a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons, or calling Putin, quote, ‘an authoritarian gas station attendant with some legacy of nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union’ is exactly the kind of simple-minded thinking that has produced decades of failed diplomacy and ultimately war,” said the former president.

“And where is that war going? Those such as Mitt Romney and Ron DeSantis, very much alike, who insist on arrogantly treating Russia as deeply inferior to the other nations of the world with no history or culture or pride, are not only ignorant and foolish, but their attitude makes it impossible to negotiate peace. Absolutely impossible,” he continued.

Mr Trump went on to claim his administration had a more nuanced understanding of Russia, its people, and history, and that such “neocon rhetoric” and “implying that Putin must be tried and presumably executed as a war criminal, only increases the chances of nuclear escalation” and showed a “lack of sophistication on the subtleties and complexities of foreign policy”.

The former president said: “This is not the time for on-the-job training as we face the possibility of nuclear war. And our leaders, if you call them that, got us there. This is where we are. The word nuclear was never even mentioned during the Trump administration. Now it’s being mentioned every hour of every day.”

Mr Trump said the country needs a “peacemaker” in the Oval Office, “not someone who recites mindless and recycled talking points to win the approval of the failed foreign policy establishment that didn’t know what they were doing.”

He added: “In 2024, I am the only candidate who can prevent World War III. I will prevent World War III. There’s nobody else that’s going to do that. Thank you very much.”

Mr DeSantis had previously called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “territorial dispute” in a written statement to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, for which he received a great deal of condemnation from fellow Republicans.

He walked back those remarks in an interview with Piers Morgan, claiming the statement was out of context.

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