On his HBO show “Real Time” last week, left-wing comedian Bill Maher raised an issue many liberals who believe in the Trump-Russian conspiracy hoax refuse to acknowledge.
“If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin thought [former President Donald] Trump was really that supportive of him, why didn’t he invade when Trump was in office?” Maher said during his monologue. “It’s at least worth asking that question if you’re not locked into one intransigent thought.”
In a recent interview U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz seconded Maher’s opinion, saying Trump’s unpredictable behavior held Putin at bay, even as the Russian dictator has now invaded his neighbors under both Trump’s predecessor and his successor.
The Florida Republican, appearing on the One American News Network, was asked to react to a comment Trump made at a recent rally in South Carolina.
The 45th president recalled that his critics claimed Trump’s personality would lead America into war. “Fake News said my personality would get us into war. … But actually my personality is what kept us out of war,” said Trump.
He pointed out that he was the first U.S. president to not get America into a war in nearly four decades.
“He understood the value of strategic ambiguity,” said Gaetz, noting he had worked with Trump on foreign policy issues.
Gaetz said looking at Trump’s debates with Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 one realized Trump was critical of a predictable “paint by numbers” foreign policy.
“Trump believed that you had to have these despots really fear a disproportionate reaction, so that they would be contained,” he added.
“There’s no dispute that during the Trump presidency, Vladimir Putin was more contained than he was when he invaded Crimea under [former President Barack] Obama, or when he is now invading Ukraine under [President] Joe Biden.”
“We also saw that strategic ambiguity does not mean weakness,” continued Gaetz, noting that Trump launched a missile strike on Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad when he used chemical weapons on his own people.
That response, Gaetz argued,” wasn’t forecast, it wasn’t gaslit, it wasn’t the subject of a bunch of meetings and hand-holding at the UN. It was action, action, action.”
“The United States was a stronger country when Donald Trump was president. But we were also a more strategic country because we did not forecast every action.”