Trump praises Putin again even as the Russian invasion of Ukraine looms, saying the Russian president is 'playing Biden like a drum'

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.Chris McGrath/Getty Images
  • Trump has continued to laud Vladimir Putin, even as an impending invasion of Ukraine looms.

  • Trump released a statement on Twitter, saying Putin was "playing Biden like a drum."

  • The former president was also filmed at a Mar-a-Lago event calling Putin "pretty smart" for taking over Ukraine for "$2 worth of sanctions."

Former President Donald Trump has continued to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin, even as a full-scale attack on Ukraine looms.

"Putin is playing Biden like a drum. It is not a pretty thing to watch!" said Trump in a statement released on Wednesday over Twitter via his spokeswoman Liz Harrington.

Video of the former president at an event at Mar-a-Lago surfaced Wednesday night, where he appeared to complain about how he was criticized for his comments on Putin. Trump on Tuesday lauded Putin's justification for invading Ukraine as "savvy" and "genius."

"'Trump said Putin's smart.' I mean, he's taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I'd say that's pretty smart," Trump said. "He's taking over a country, literally, a vast, vast, location, a great piece of land with a lot of people, and just walking right in."

It is unclear when the video at Mar-a-Lago was taken, and representatives for the former president did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Russia is now poised to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, per Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken told NBC Nightly News that he could not put a date or time on when it would happen, but said that Russian troops are now ready to move into Ukraine from positions along the country's borders to the north, east, and south.

Ukraine has also declared a state of emergency in response to Russia's troop movement, and the country's parliament has passed a law allowing its citizens to carry firearms.

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