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John Bolton Dismisses Claim Trump Deterred Russian Invasion: He 'Barely Knew Where Ukraine Was'

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Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is smacking down claims that his old boss deterred Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine.

During an appearance on Newsmax on Monday night, host Rob Schmitt argued former President Donald Trump “took a very tough stance against Russia. He told Bolton, “I’m surprised you don’t think that he would have handled this better than Joe Biden.”

“The fact is that [Trump] barely knew where Ukraine was. He once asked John Kelly, his second chief of staff, if Finland were a part of Russia,” Bolton responded.

He added, “It’s just not accurate to say that Trump’s behavior somehow deterred the Russians. I think the evidence is Russia didn’t feel that their military was ready.”

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Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine last week despite warnings that he would face severe sanctions and economic costs.

Republicans have argued that Putin would have been deterred from invading Ukraine if Trump was still in office.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) claimed in a tweet on Feb. 23 that Trump “deterred Russia for four years” and “the world was more safe on his watch than any single day under Joe Biden.”

Do you think Trump would have deterred Putin?

In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Trump claimed, “Under our administration, Russia respected America just like every other country respected America, but now Joe Biden is seen as weak.”

“As everyone understands, this horrific disaster would never have happened if our election was not rigged and if I was the president,” he continued.

Finally, Trump added, “Putin is playing Biden like a drum, and it’s not a pretty thing.”

He also claimed Biden is “bad and weak and grossly incompetent” and that the U.S. is a “laughingstock all over the world today.”

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Bolton served as Trump’s national security adviser for 17-months until Sept. 2019. Bolton says he resigned from the position, while Trump insisted that he fired him.

Since then, Bolton has been a critic of Trump.

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