• Former President Donald Trump praised Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-Un, and Vladimir Putin in a campaign event.
  • Trump called Putin’s decision to put troops on the border of Ukraine “a great negotiation.”
  • Trump has a pattern of praising authoritarian leaders from around the world.

At a campaign rally in Georgia on Saturday, former President Donald Trump once again praised Vladimir Putin’s intelligence, calling the Russian president’s decision to place troops on the border of Ukraine “a great negotiation.”

“The smartest one gets to the top. That didn’t work so well recently in our country,” Trump said during the rally. “But they ask me, ‘Is Putin smart?’ Yes, Putin was smart. And I actually thought he was going to be negotiating. I said, ‘That’s a hell of a way to negotiate, put 200,000 soldiers on the border.'”

Trump added that “certain things” “should never have happened” and alluded to the idea that the invasion of Ukraine would not have happened if he were in office. 

“I think [Putin] made a big mistake, what he’s done to so many people, but that was a big mistake,” Trump said. “But it looked like a great negotiation.” 

During his remarks, Trump called Putin’s attack on Ukraine “heinous attacks on a proud and sovereign nation,” then praised authoritarian leaders Kim Jong-Un, Xi Jinping, and Putin for their intelligence. 

The campaign event Trump spoke at was in support of former pro football star running back Herschel Walker, who is running in the GOP Senate primary in Georgia, and former Sen. David Perdue, a primary challenger to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

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