Since launching his presidential campaign in June of 2015, Donald Trump has embraced a softer position towards Russia than other Republicans, saying he wants to work together with Russia if possible.
But in interviews in 2014, before he was running for office, Trump was more willing to call for a show of strength against Vladimir Putin and Russia.
In a March 2014 interview on “Fox and Friends” Trump agreed with Mitt Romney’s previous assessment that Russia represented America’s number one geopolitical foe, as first reported by CNN. (RELATED: Putin Says People Behind Trump Dossier ‘Worse Than Prostitutes’)
“Well Mitt was right,” Trump said in response to then-recent Romney comments calling Obama “naive” for his approach to Russia, “and he was also right when he mentioned in one of the debates about Russia, and he said, ‘Russia’s our biggest problem, and Russia is, you know, really something.”
“He said it’s a hell of a problem, and everybody laughed at him, including certain media, by the way,” Trump added. “They laughed. It turned out that he’s absolutely right.”
Trump made similar comments in another March 2016 “Fox and Friends” interview: “Well Mitt Romney was so right and nobody knew how right he was going to be and you look at Obama’s response and just take a look at what’s going on,” he said, later suggesting the US could levy economic sanctions against Russia. (RELATED: Obama Mocked Romney For Warning About Russia In 2012)
“There are a lot of things we could be doing economically to Russia. Russia is not strong economically and we could do a lot of different things to really do numbers on them if we wanted to,” Trump said.
In interview with NBC that same month, Trump said that “Putin has eaten Obama’s lunch” in Ukraine and called for sanctions, but expressed concern that Obama might do something too rash to try and “show his manhood.”
“We should definitely do sanctions and we have to show some strengths. I mean, Putin has eaten Obama’s lunch, therefore our lunch, for a long period of time,” Trump said.
“I just hope that Obama, who’s not looking too good, doesn’t do something very foolish and very stupid to show his manhood.”