“Putin was in with the KGB, he can read people, and he could tell that Donald Trump was a very strong person,” Eric Trump responded when Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked him why Putin did not invade Ukraine during the Trump administration.
He pointed to the former president’s relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“And what did my father say? ‘You know, Kim, you mess around with us, you will be met with fire and fury, the likes of which you have never seen before.’ Right?” he said. “And then a couple months later, they’re shaking hands in North Korea, and the relationship was perfect.”
According to the younger Trump, this “perfect” relationship demonstrated backbone. “Biden does the exact opposite of that every single day.”
Hannity then asked his guest to explain why President Joe Biden has not retaliated against reported Russian threats of using “nukes,” chemical weapons, bioweapons or cyber warfare.
“Rather than say, ‘We’ll do that to you if you ever dare touch us,’ it just, you know, it seems like Joe gets afraid,” Hannity said.
The U.S. and its NATO allies have imposed substantial economic sanctions on Russia and approved billions in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine but have stopped short of any moves that could provoke open conflict between NATO and Russia that could escalate into a nuclear war.
Trump claimed his father would have simply called up Putin and said, “‘Vladimir, don’t even think about it.’”
He later added that his father shared a great relationship with Putin while Biden “has no relationship with Putin.”
Trump was notoriously deferential to autocratic leaders like Putin, Kim, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while frequently criticizing U.S. allies. As president, he routinely sided with Putin despite Russian aggression against Ukraine and refused to condemn his actions even after the invasion of Ukraine.
Many commentators noted that they had no issue with Biden’s lack of a relationship with Putin.
Some of Eric Trump’s other assertions also inspired mockery: