Trump says Ukraine war wouldn’t have happened if he were president and boasts he could end it

Donald Trump has boasted that the war in Ukraine “would not have happened if I were president”.

“President Putin of Russia is now threatening the use of Nuclear Weapons, saying ‘It is not a bluff’,” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Wednesday.

“The Ukrainian conflict should never have happened, and would not have happened if I were President. But as I have made very clear for quite some time, this could now end up being World War III,” he added.

During a phone interview with Newsmax on Tuesday, Mr Trump said that he would meet with Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine if he were still president.

Host Rob Finnerty said, “speaking of Russia, Vladimir Putin wanted to showcase Russian strength in Ukraine when he invaded in February. Mr President, the opposite is happening, that is clear. If you were in the Oval Office today, how would you do more to engage directly with Vladimir Putin to try to get him to stop this war?”

“Well, I'd talk to him, I'd meet with him,” Mr Trump said. “I mean, there's no communication with him with Biden, obviously.”

“There's not a lot of communication between Biden and these leaders. They're pretty brutal, and they're people that you have to know how to deal with and we dealt with them well with China,” he added.

“We took in hundreds of billions of dollars of tariffs from China, and there was never any talk there either with going into Taiwan but there's nobody to talk to from the United [States]. Who do we send over there to talk to you?” he asked.

“They have to respect your leadership, if they don't respect your leadership, they're gonna walk all over you,” the former president said.

Mr Putin increased his stake in the war on Wednesday, announcing that around 300,000 reservists would be called to join the ranks of the military. He also rebuked the West for its support of Ukraine, and issued an ominous threat of using nuclear weapons, according to The New York Times.

In a speech, Mr Putin declined to announce a full national draft, instead revealing a “partial mobilisation” of Russians with experience in the military.

Despite massive setbacks as Ukraine has retaken large swaths of land, Mr Putin claimed that his goals remain unchanged. He said the mobilisation effort was “necessary and urgent” as the West had “crossed all lines” in providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry.

The Russian president claimed that Europe and the US were committing “nuclear blackmail” and noted that Russia has “lots of weapons” as well.

“To those who allow themselves such statements about Russia, I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and some components are more modern than those of the NATO countries,” he claimed.

He added that Russia would be willing to use any means necessary to protect what they see as their territory, which includes parts of Ukraine.

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” he said, according to The New York Times. “This is not a bluff.”