Trump Willing To Meet With Putin To Have Ukraine War "Settled In One Day"

To the surprise of many (and outrage on the left for "giving him a platform"), CNN hosted a town hall in New Hampshire on Wednesday featuring former president Donald Trump, and a key foreign policy focus in the discussion was the Russia-Ukraine war.

During the town hall he was pressed on whether he wants Ukraine to "win". But instead of taking the bait, he instead focused on finding a peaceful outcome. "I don't think in terms of winning and losing," Trump said. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people."

AFP/Getty Images

He again emphasized his long-running claim that if he were president, he could end the conflict in 24 hours.  "Russians and Ukrainians, I want them to stop dying," the presidential hopeful said. "And I’ll have that done in 24 hours."

He had been pressed hard by CNN's Kaitlan Collins if he wants “Ukraine to win this war." While Trump also refused to say whether he views Putin as a "war criminal" when pressed on the matter, saying this "should be discussed later" - he did assert that "Putin made a mistake" in launching the special military operation.

Mainstream media is also making much out of Trump's refusal to say whether he favors a particular side of the war. However, he clearly wants to be seen as a potential future neutral arbiter and mediator if presented an opportunity. A fresh Rolling Stone headline reads: "Trump Refuses to Pick a Side in Ukraine-Russia War."

Trump pointed out:

"If you say he’s [Putin] a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped."

Predictably, an avalanche of pundits and media headlines rolled out with the 'Kremlin stooge' trope, including potential GOP rivals for president

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called former President Donald Trump a “coward” and a “puppet of Putin” for refusing to say that Ukraine should win in its war against Russia.

...“I think he’s a coward and I think he’s a puppet of Putin,” Christie, a Republican weighing a presidential run, told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I don’t know why, to tell you the truth, but I can’t figure it out, but there’s no other conclusion to come to.”

During the CNN town hall back-and-forth, Trump echoed a perspective which has become increasingly popular among conservatives as the proxy war has dragged on. He blasted "giving away so much" of America's own weaponry and taxpayer money.

"We don’t have ammunition for ourselves [and yet] we’re giving away so much," he said. He then said Europe should shoulder the burden and "put up more money" in order "equalize" assistance compared to what Washington has doled out.

Trump said he would "have that war settled in one day" if he becomes president, and he's willing to meet with Vladimir Putin in order to make it happen.

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