McMaster breaks with Trump: Putin ‘certainly not someone to be praised’

Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not worthy of praise following Russia’s attack on Ukraine. 

“He is certainly not someone to be praised, and I think what we ought to be encouraged by is the reaction across the free world. Really what Putin wants more than anything is disunity, because disunity will lead to an ineffective response,” McMaster said on CNN, breaking with former President Trump, who has lauded Putin’s moves as “genius.” 

“This is one campaign in his larger effort to drag everybody else down,” McMaster also said of Putin.

McMaster’s comments come after Trump earlier this week praised Putin’s tactics in Ukraine as “genius” and said Putin describing the invading troops as “peacekeepers” was both “smart” and “savvy.” 

McMaster’s remarks also come after Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine early Thursday morning. 

Since then, President Biden has condemned the invasion and is expected to unveil additional sanctions against Russia on Thursday in coordination with European allies after meeting with Group of Seven allies in the morning.

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” Biden said in a statement late Wednesday night after the attack.

In addition to Biden’s actions, leaders from the European Union have also pledged to “impose massive and severe consequences on Russia for its actions,” adding that the sanctions would be “designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin’s ability to finance war.” 

–Updated at 12:08 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Vladimir Putin

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