Former President Donald Trump released a video on his Truth Social platform, criticizing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his recent remarks on Russia and Vladimir Putin.
In the video, Trump accused DeSantis of being “ignorant and foolish” for calling Putin a war criminal and referring to Russia as a “gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons.”
DeSantis had referred to Putin as a “war criminal” in a Fox Nation appearance last week.
In the video, Trump claimed that this type of language has led to failed diplomacy and ultimately war, stating, “Calling Russia a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons, or calling Putin, quote, ‘an authoritarian gas station attendant with some legacy of nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union’ is exactly the kind of simple-minded thinking that has produced decades of failed diplomacy and ultimately war.”
Trump went on to tie DeSantis to previous remarks made by Senator Mitt Romney and the late Senator John McCain, saying that those who treat Russia as inferior to other nations make it impossible to negotiate peace.
He claimed that his administration had a more nuanced understanding of Russia and its people and criticized what he called “neocon rhetoric” and the implication that Putin must be tried and executed as a war criminal.
Such rhetoric “only increases the chances of nuclear escalation” and shows a “lack of sophistication on the subtleties and complexities of foreign policy,” Trump said.
“This is not the time for on-the-job training as we face the possibility of nuclear war. And our leaders, if you call them that, got us there.”
The former president called for a “peacemaker” in the Oval Office, stating, “We need a statesman and a peacemaker in the White House, not someone who recites mindless and recycled talking points to win the approval of the failed foreign policy establishment that didn’t know what they were doing.”
Trump declared himself the only candidate who could “prevent” the next major war, stating, “In 2024, I am the only candidate who can prevent World War III. I will prevent World War III. There’s nobody else that’s going to do that. Thank you very much.”
DeSantis had previously referred to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “territorial dispute” in a statement to Tucker Carlson on Fox News, which received condemnation from fellow Republicans.