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Hillary Clinton Repeatedly Blames Trump and Republicans for Ukraine Chaos in MSNBC Interview

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized members of the Republican Party she claimed were sympathetic toward Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, in a Friday interview.

Speaking with the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the former Democratic presidential candidate said, “We have to also make sure that within our own country we are calling out those people who are giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin.”

She described those “giving aid and comfort” as those saying Putin is a “genius” and his actions toward Ukraine a “smart move.”

Their words were “being broadcast by Russian media, not only inside Russia but in Europe, to demonstrate the division within our own country,” Clinton said.

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Her comments appeared to be a swipe at her opponent in the 2016 election, former President Donald Trump.

In a Tuesday interview with “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump said, “I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful.

“So, Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force … We could use that on our southern border.

“That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy … I know him very well. Very, very well.”

Do you think Republicans are sympathetic toward Putin?

Trump was referring to Putin’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk, two territories in Ukraine held by pro-Kremlin rebels, as independent nations on Tuesday, pledging Russian military support to defend them against Ukraine.

Two days later, Putin invaded Ukraine in an ongoing conflict comprising of missile attacks, amphibious assaults, airstrikes and infantry and armored attacks on civilians and the Ukrainian military.

The day after his appearance on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show,” Trump made similar comments during a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, according to HuffPost.

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His remarks received widespread news media and social media criticism, being portrayed as an endorsement of Putin.

However, the rest of the transcript from Tuesday’s interview suggests that Trump was discussing how Putin got away with carrying out such an act under the watch of the Biden administration rather than the act itself. In other words, it was a criticism of President Joe Biden more than it was praise of Putin.

“By the way, this never would have happened with us. Had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened,” Trump said.

“But here’s a guy that says, you know, ‘I’m gonna declare a big portion of Ukraine independent,’ he used the word ‘independent,’ ‘and we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy. And you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn’t have one for that. No, it’s very sad. Very sad.”

The same is true of his speech on Wednesday. In fact, he prefaced his comments by mocking the establishment media’s coverage of him after he had previously said Putin was “sharp” and “smart.”

“‘Oh, Trump said Putin’s smart!'” Trump said. “I mean, he’s taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart.”

In a few hours, the war in Ukraine would enter day three as Russian forces sought to take control of the country and demilitarize it.

Ukrainian civilians have been procuring arms from the government to defend the city should the army fall.

The government and TV and radio stations released information on how citizens can make Molotov cocktails to attack Russian troops, Business Insider reported.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and key members of his Cabinet chose to remain in the city along with its defenders ready to meet the Russian invaders.

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Andrew Jose is a freelance reporter covering security, U.S. politics, and foreign policy, among other beats. He has bylines in several outlets, notably the Daily Caller, Jewish News Syndicate, and the Times of Israel.
Andrew Jose is a freelance reporter covering security, U.S. politics, and foreign policy, among other beats. He has bylines in several outlets, notably the Daily Caller, Jewish News Syndicate, and the Times of Israel. Speak to Andrew securely via Follow Andrew on Twitter: @realAndrewJose
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
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