Former President Donald Trump predicted on Tuesday that China will move to take Taiwan after watching President Joe Biden’s response in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of eastern Ukraine.
During an appearance on “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show,” Trump said “China’s going to be next” to take aggressive military action.
“China’s going to be next,” he said, adding, “Oh, absolutely. Not with me, they wouldn’t have.”
“They’re waiting until after the Olympics. Now the Olympics ended and look at your stopwatch, right?” Trump continued, later adding that “Putin would have never done it and [President of China Xi Jinping] would have never done it [during the Trump administration].”
When asked why Putin took military action against Ukraine during both former President Barack Obama’s administration and now during the Biden administration, Trump said he thinks Putin “sees his opportunity.”
“Even sleepy eyes Chuck Todd said this weekend during his show, I was watching it for a change, and he said, ‘How come there’s been no invasion during the period of time that the Trump administration there, but they did invade, very severely invade, with Obama, and then they waited, and then they invaded.’ This would never have happened if we were there. But he did, Chuck Todd asked that question: How come none of this was happening during the Trump administration?”
“[Putin] is acting a little differently, I think, now. I think he sees his opportunity,” Trump continued. “I knew that he always wanted Ukraine. I used to talk to him about it. I said, ‘You can’t do it. You’re not going to do it.’ But I could see that he wanted it.”
On Tuesday, Biden’s administration first formally described Russia’s latest actions in Ukraine as an invasion.
White House principal deputy national security adviser Jon Finer shared with CNN’s “New Day” the administration’s view that “we think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion, Russia’s latest invasion into Ukraine.”
“I think ‘latest’ is important here,” Finer said. “An invasion is an invasion, and that is what is underway. But Russia has been invading Ukraine since 2014.”
In 2014, during the Obama administration, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukrainian control and has provided military support to separatist areas in eastern Ukraine. Russia had previously sent troops into the separatist areas but had denied those actions until Monday.
Finer’s comments came a day after Putin signed a document officially declaring Russia’s recognition of the two separatist areas of eastern Ukraine as sovereign, and therefore separate, from Ukraine.