A top White House spokesman on Thursday called former President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin “two nauseating, fearful pigs who hate what America stands for” after Trump again praised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at a political fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday night, Trump reiterated his view that the Russian president’s incursion into the sovereign nation was a stroke of “genius.”
“I mean, he’s taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions,” Trump said. “I’d say that’s pretty smart. He’s taking over a country — literally a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people, and just walking right in.” The former president went on to insist that he knew Putin very well and that the crisis would not have happened if he were in office.
Andrew Bates, the White House deputy press secretary, responded with a scathing tweet.
“Two nauseating, fearful pigs who hate what America stands for and whose every action is driven by their their own weakness and insecurity, rubbing their snouts together and celebrating as innocent people lose their lives,” Bates tweeted.
Trump’s comments came shortly before Putin launched a predawn attack on Ukraine, hitting cities with airstrikes and sending tanks across the border. The move, which U.S. intelligence agencies have been predicting for months, was widely condemned by world leaders.
President Biden called it “an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces.”
“Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said in a statement. “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”
On Tuesday, Trump made headlines by praising Putin’s decision to send troops into Ukraine to support Russian-backed separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.
“This is genius,” he said on a radio program. “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. 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.”