The Republican Accountability Project has produced an ad (watch above) criticizing former President Donald Trump’s long-time admiration of Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader who recently launched a brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Yes, it's 2022 and the leader of one of America's two political parties is a pro-Putin apologist, cheerleading for his devastating war. https://t.co/WbzLaWbYJu
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) March 3, 2022
Just days before Putin initiated the attack – which has created 1.7 million refugees and killed hundreds of civilians – Trump called the strongman’s military posturing “genius” and “savvy.”
That characterization drew widespread condemnation, but Trump doubled down days later, telling a crowd at Mar-a-Lago, “I mean, he’s taking over a country for two dollars’ worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart. He’s taking over a country — really a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people, and just walking right in.”
“Just walking right in” is a stunning euphemism for a military campaign that has targeted civilians and their homes. The ad from the Republican Accountability Project juxtaposes Trump’s comments with images of destruction and suffering.
when you hear Republican politicians snipe at Biden on the crisis, remember:
the Republican president who left office last year used his term to strengthen Russia's hand and weaken Ukraine's
his party protected him as he did it
he still leads the party https://t.co/HchKLTqfQe
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) March 7, 2022
Trump’s claim that Russia is being penalized with “two dollars’ worth of sanctions” is also a wildly hyperbolic description of the damage inflicted on the country’s economy. The national currency has plummeted, Russia’s stock market is tanking, and Western firms have shuttered stores there, which will inevitably result in widespread job loss and the inability to buy modern goods like smartphones and computers. Russian elites have also had property seized and assets frozen.
Last week, former Vice President Mike Pence issued a thinly veiled criticism of his one-time running mate, saying “There is no room in [the Republican Party] for apologists for Putin.”