Donald Trump has long insisted that the Ukraine war would have never happened if he were still president, going so far as to blame the “rigged election” on Russia’s unprovoked invasion while claiming he had the magic words to stop the fighting “immediately.”
During a radio interview with Fox News host (and longtime confidant) Sean Hannity on Monday, the twice-impeached ex-president finally revealed how he personally would have prevented the war. According to Trump, all he needed to do was let Russia “take over” parts of Ukraine.
Saying that Russia was going for the “whole enchilada” with Joe Biden as president, Trump added that Russia “took over nothing” while he was in the White House because Russian President Vladimir Putin “understood” that “he would have never done it.”
The former president then added: “That’s without even negotiating a deal. I could have negotiated. At worst, I could’ve made a deal to take over something, there are certain areas that are Russian-speaking areas, frankly, but you could’ve worked a deal.”
Later that evening, Hannity played excerpts of his “exclusive” interview with Trump on his primetime Fox News program, along with highlights of Trump’s bombastic speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Though Hannity aired the segment featuring the ex-president boasting that he could have stopped the war, he curiously omitted the portion where Trump revealed his plan.
Instead, shortly after Trump says, “I could have negotiated,” the audio quickly skips about 30 seconds of speaking time before picking back up where the former president pivots to his complaint that “China no longer respects the United States.”
Besides asserting that he would have stopped Russia from invading Ukraine by making a deal to let them “take over something,” Trump also said in the portion not aired by Fox that “so many more people are dying than is being reported” while reiterating this “would have never happened” under his watch.
In recent weeks, Trump has repeatedly bragged that it would be “easy” to end the crisis, claiming that it would only take him a single day to reach a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. “We could end the Ukraine conflict in 24 hours with the right leadership,” he’s declared.
And though it has still been months since he’s appeared on Fox News amid a reported “soft ban” by the conservative cable giant, last night’s Hannity segment did seem to represent a thawing of the currently tense relations between Trumpworld and Fox. Besides airing portions of Trump’s radio interview (Fox does not carry Hannity’s radio show), the network also broadcast Trump’s CPAC speech live this past weekend, despite largely ignoring the right-wing confab previously.