Former President Donald Trump was recorded on speaker phone claiming to pal and golf pro John Daly that he once warned Russia President Vladimir Putin that he’d bomb Moscow if Putin invaded Ukraine.
It was a startling statement, given that Trump just recently praised Putin as a “genius” for invading Ukraine, where the Russian military is attacking a sovereign nation and dropping bombs on civilians.
“They’re all saying, ‘Oh, he’s a nuclear power. It’s like they’re afraid of him,’” Trump told Daly, referring to Putin, in the call posted on Instagram Friday.
“You know, he was a friend of mine,” Trump preened. “I got along great with him.”
But Trump insisted on the call that he also played tough with his buddy. If Putin invaded Ukraine, Trump claimed he warned him: “We’re gonna hit Moscow.” And “he sort of believed me, like 5%, 10%,” Trump added. “That’s all you need. He never did it during my time, John, you know ... He didn’t do this during the last four years because he knew he couldn’t,” Trump added.
But Trump just praised Putin’s invasion days ago. And John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, has accused Trump of setting the stage for Putin’s invasion by constantly criticizing Ukraine and delaying arms shipments to the nation — and lavishing praise on Putin.
Trump “did not” take a tough stance on Putin, Bolton said earlier this week on Newsmax.
Trump also risked NATO’s survival as a foil to Russian aggression by constantly attacking the Western alliance. Putin expected Trump would pull the U.S. out of NATO if he was elected to a second term, leaving the way clear for the Russian military, Bolton told The Washington Post in a virtual chat on Friday.
Daly told the Press Telegram Saturday that he was upset someone recorded the call. He said one of his acquaintances in Newport Beach had placed the call on speaker phone so everyone could hear. “But we didn’t see anybody filming anything,” Daly said.
“I had called [Trump] just to see how he was doing,” said Daly, who’s playing in the Hoag Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club. Daly said he considers Trump a friend, and would never want to cast him in a bad light.
Daly said he now knows who recorded the call, but would not say who it was. “That jerk. We’re very upset with him,” he added. “I apologized to Mr. Trump.”