Trump’s controversial (but correct) Ukraine analysis sparks controversy after CNN town hall

They didn't like his answer, but it rang true.

Last night, CNN hosted a town hall with former President Trump during which their anchor, Kaitlan Collins, quizzed him on a wide array of issues.

One of the most controversial moments came during Trump’s remarks on the war raging between Russia and Ukraine. His comments were prompted by an audience question, in which a young college student asked him, “The current administration has made it clear that we should continue to provide military equipment to Ukraine so that they can defend themselves. Do you support this decision? And how would you deal with the increasing threat posed by Vladimir Putin?”

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Trump thanked her for her question and said the question was “so important” because we’re “giving away so much equipment (that) we don’t have ammunition for ourselves.” He continued to point out that the US is committing far more to Ukraine aid than the European Union is, despite the war being in their backyard, not ours. 

“You don’t have to know too much about history to realize, or geography, to realize they’re a little bit more affected than we are,” he went on. “They’re taking advantage of us like every other country did.”

Where’s the lie?

Collins then interrupted Trump to redirect the question stating, “her question is, would you continue to give Ukraine money and weapons.”

To that Trump sidestepped a bit, pointing out that he liked Ukrainian President Zelensky and claiming if it were up to him he’d sit down with both leaders (Zelensky and Putin) to settle the matter.

“Do you want Ukraine to win this war?” Collins then lobbed at him.

This reveals an actually very interesting split when it comes to the conflict. Her question is indicative of the position held by the majority of the Left at this point in time, and some neocons that remain on the Right as well: they want Ukraine to win this war and won’t accept anything else.

Let me be clear, even if one is sympathetic to Ukraine, it’s wildly impractical and unrealistic to hold out for an outright victory. In practice, that’s an absolutely cracked position that risks nuclear war, will continue to cost countless lives on all sides of the conflict, and would require a vast sum of money and resources to even attempt to achieve. 

It would be virtually impossible for Ukraine to win this war. While Russia was wrong to invade,  this is ultimately a territorial dispute between a nuclear power and its neighbor. What the world should be hoping for, what all involved should always have been pushing for, is a peaceful negotiation between the two to avoid more war and more bloodshed. Yes, like any compromise, that would probably involve Ukraine having to give up some ground. Worth it. Risking not just further bloodshed but outright nuclear war over this dispute does not make sense.

Trump, to his credit, caught this and answered perfectly. 

“I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people,” he responded. Ahh, that fresh breath of air when it becomes apparent there’s an adult in the room.

Collins tried again asking, “Can you say if you want Ukraine or Russia to win this war?”

“I want everybody to stop dying. They’re dying. Russians and Ukrainians,” he snapped back.

The mainstream media called this a dodge but in actuality it was quite brilliant. Because there is no winning this war. Peaceful negotiations between the two countries are the only real solution on the table, and anyone taking a side would no longer be able to get the two parties to take a seat at that table.

This isn’t a “pro-Putin” argument. Trump went on to say he thought Putin had made a tremendous mistake in invading Ukraine, for the record. Rather it is a pro-peace argument, and it has become quite apparent that the Left is very much no longer in the anti-war camp.

Collins again made that clear in the interview by pushing Trump to label Putin as a “war criminal,” to which he astutely replied, “I think that should not be discussed now, it should be discussed later, because if you say he’s a war criminal it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal and get this thing stopped.”

I mean… duh? Why is this common sense statement so hard for the mainstream media and Left to wrap their heads around? Oh yeah, I keep forgetting, because they don’t want peaceful negotiations.

“If he’s going to be a war criminal, people are going to go in and grab him and execute him. He’s going to fight a lot harder than he’s fighting under the other circumstances,” Trump pointed out.

Putin has committed atrocities, but you don’t have to be a scholar to know what Trump is saying is nevertheless historically and psychologically correct. Labeling people as war criminals is the military industrial complex’s excuse to invade a country and carry out regime change, and it has been for a while. Putin is aware of that too.

We know good and freaking well how that has played out in recent times. Those actions have destabilized entire regions, given way to terrorist groups and far worse leaders than those we took out, and led to blowback against US foreign policy like we saw on 9/11.

The positions many on the Left are pushing in this conflict are right out of the Bush-Cheney playbook, except this time they’re messing with an actual nuclear power. The arrogance and vapidness on display are absolutely breathtaking.

Trump concluded this segment of the interview by saying, “Right now we want to get that war settled. And I’m not talking about the money either. I’m talking about all the lives. The number of people being killed in that war is far greater than you hear….Hundreds and thousands of people are being killed and we have to get that war settled.”

There’s a lot Trump and I would disagree on, but the foreign policy component of the America First ideology is one faction where we are wholeheartedly in alignment. It is the only financially responsible, pro-life position to take.

America cannot continue sending our dollars and our lives overseas, especially to battles that don’t even really involve us. At most, we should use our power and position to push for peace negotiations in conflicts where we have influence. But those billions should have been invested in our own people and country. 

Furthermore, our current foreign policy stance in this conflict has only led to a longer war, more lives being lost, and risked a nuclear conflict that could quickly expand outside the region—meaning we’re actively making the world less safe in the process.

Ukraine almost certainly cannot win this war outright. It’s childish and simplistic to think or argue otherwise. The people like Donald Trump pushing for a peaceful settlement will be proven right by history.

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Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer and co-founder of BASEDPolitics. She's also the host of the BASEDPolitics podcast and an experienced political activist.