Speaking to top Republican National Committee (RNC) donors at a retreat in New Orleans, the former president prompted scores of laughter when he appeared to parody talking points from Fox News host Sean Hannity by suggesting that the U.S. bomb Russia and blame it on another country.
“And then we say, ‘China did it,'” Trump said, according to an unidentified source for CBS News. “Then they start fighting with each other, and we sit back and watch.”
The former president also scolded his successor, Joe Biden, for his handling of Russia.
“We have to have Biden stop saying that — and this is for everyone to hear — that we will not attack Russia ever because they are a nuclear power, right?” Trump said. “You know who is saying this? Okay, whether it’s fact or fiction, ‘We will not attack Russia. You see, they are a nuclear power.’ Oh, thanks for telling us.”
Though not explicit, Trump’s satirical comments appear to mirror statements by Sean Hannity last week in which he recommended that NATO bomb a Russian convoy and then blame it on someone else.
“You know, if we can see on satellite imagery where the convoy is, I don’t know, maybe some smart country, maybe NATO might take some of their fighter jets, or maybe they can use some drone strikes and take out the whole damn convoy. And then nobody takes credit for it, so then Putin won’t know who to hit back,” Hannity said last week.
“‘Well, he’s threatening nuclear weapons, Hannity, you’re talking about nuclear war.’ I’m not talking about nuclear war, nor would I support one American boot on the ground here. But at what point is this gonna end?” he added.
Hannity also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be assassinated, a sentiment that was also echoed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
President Trump increased his anti-Russia rhetoric last week after the media accused him of being a Putin apologist for calling him “smart” and “pretty savvy” as the invasion got underway. He later referred to Russia’s invasion as “a Holocaust” when discussing the conflict with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business while pleading with Moscow to “stop killing these people.”
“Well, you have to work out a deal. They have to stop killing these people,” Trump said. “They’re killing all of these people, and they have to stop it, and they have to stop it now.
“But they don’t respect the United States and the United States is like, I don’t know, they’re not doing anything about it. This is a — this is a holocaust. This is a horrible thing that’s happening. You’re witnessing and you’re seeing it on television every night,” he added.