“I believe if Trump were president, none of this would be going on,” he said Tuesday night on CNN. “If he were president of the United States, Hamas would not have attacked Israel, I really believe that, Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine because they’re afraid of the guy.”
Graham’s claim flies in the face of comments from Trump himself, who recently bragged of making U.S. loyalty to allies in times of military crisis contingent upon those countries forking out extra cash for that protection.
During an event in Iowa on Sunday, Trump recalled telling world leaders that their countries need to pay more for protection… or else.
“The head of a country stood up, said, ‘Does that mean if Russia attacks my country, you will not be there?’” Trump said. “That’s right, that’s what it means. I will not protect you.”
Trump also infamously wanted other favors in exchange for U.S. support: His first impeachment was over a phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which he tried to use U.S. military aid as leverage in exchange for Ukraine trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, then a Democratic rival in the 2020 presidential contest.
Trump has praised Hamas as “very smart” and has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, last year calling his invasion of Ukraine “genius.” In addition, Trump sided with Putin when questioned about U.S. intelligence that found Russia interfered on his behalf in the 2016 election.
He’s also been full of praise for other despots and dictators, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this year that he “got along great” with many of them. He once declared that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “fell in love.”
At the same time, Trump has been less charitable in his assessment of U.S. allies, dismissing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “far left lunatic” and accusing French President Emmanuel Macron of being “very insulting.”