Trump slams provision of tanks to Ukraine as escalation of war, says he’d negotiate a peace deal ‘in 24 hours’

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina State House, Jan. 28, 2023, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized the decision taken by multiple Western allies to provide heavy-armored battle tanks to Ukraine, claiming it is escalating a war that would never have happened on his watch.

In his first major speech outside his home state of Florida on Saturday, Trump told a crowd in Salem, New Hampshire, that his presidency deterred Russian President Vladimir Putin from green-lighting his aggressive land grab, adding that he would have a peace agreement signed by both nations within just 24 hours.

“My personality kept us out of war,” the former president told the crowd. “And I told you before, (it) would have never happened with Russia. Putin would have never ever gone in. And even now, I could solve that in 24 hours. It’s so horrible what happened. Those cities are demolished now.”

Following the announcement by Joe Biden’s administration of plans to provide U.S. Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform, “First come the tanks, then come the nukes. Get this crazy war ended now. So easy to do!”

In Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday, the former U.S. president slammed Biden’s poor judgment, which he claimed has pushed us to the brink of another world war.

“Through weakness and incompetence, Joe Biden has brought us to the brink of World War III. As president, I will bring back peace through strength. If I was president, there would not have been a war with Russia in Ukraine, zero chance. It wouldn’t have happened,” Trump said.

“Even now, despite tremendous loss of lives and destruction of much of that country, I would have a peace deal negotiated within 24 hours. You could make a peace deal, you could make a deal for both right now,” he added.

Trump has long been critical of Joe Biden’s approach to Russia, insisting back in February last year that the Putin situation had not been “properly handled.” He called U.S. sanctions on Russia “weak” and claimed Biden “is probably sleeping right now” in the initial aftermath of the invasion.

The former Republican president hit the campaign trail this weekend for the first time in his bid to win the Republican nomination to run for president in 2024 and insisted he was ready to retake control of the White House.

“I’m more angry now, and I’m more committed now, than I ever was,” he told supporters.

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