Former President Donald Trump received what was perhaps the loudest round of applause of the night when he detailed his plan for ending the war in Ukraine during an Iowa town hall interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News.
Trump has repeatedly vowed to end the war “in 24 hours,” citing good relationships with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. “So I know Zelensky very well because he was very honorable with the fake phone call impeachment hoax number one. They said I made a phone call to him and I was very threatening. I wasn’t at all. I was actually very nice,” Trump said. “I was congratulating him on a victory. But when they asked him they said, ‘did you were you threatened?’ He didn’t even know what they were talking about. He was very honorable. He could have done grandstanding, said, ‘I felt threatened, I felt threatened.’ He didn’t do that.”
The former president and current GOP frontrunner also stated that he gets along “very well” with Vladimir Putin. “I would tell Putin, you got to settle. I would tell Zelensky, you got to settle. I would tell one, you’re going to load up with money. I’d tell the other, you’re not going to get any money. I would get a settlement in 24 hours,” he said.
Trump then reiterated his calls for a settlement of the conflict as opposed to unlimited funding of the Ukrainian government, a plan that has been endorsed by multiple Republican presidential hopefuls. “You have thousands, hundreds of thousands of dead people right now, hundreds of thousands. You have cities that are obliterated. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the cities after they finished with the rockets. You have cities with no buildings standing. It looks like just a demolition zone. It’s so horrible. And you know, and then they’ll say two people were hurt. No, hundreds of people and thousands of people were killed,” Trump said.
” These cities are being obliterated and basically they say, what’s your stance? Are you for Russia or are you for… I’m for one thing very simple. I want to stop people from getting killed and I’ll have it stopped fast. I want to stop people from getting killed and I’ll have it stopped fast,” he continued, drawing loud thunderous from the crowd.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle — including President Biden — have argued that negotiating a settlement would validate Russia’s invasion. Biden has instead opted to arm the Ukrainian government with long-range weapons that increase the chance of nuclear conflict with Russia, including F-16 fighter jets and cluster munitions.
This plan has received support from almost all Democrats and several elected Republicans, including Senators Mitt Romney (R -UT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Multiple Republican presidential hopefuls have also endorsed continuous funding of the Ukrainian military, including Mike Pence and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). Scott recently told Tucker Carlson that “degrading the Russian military” is a vital national security interest for the United States.