Trump under fire for Fox News appearance moments after Putin declares war on Ukraine

Moments after Russia announced a military operation in Ukraine, former US president Donald Trump once again praised president Vladimir Putin’s move as “smart” at an event in Florida and subsequently appeared on Fox News to blame the invasion on a “rigged election”.

On Thursday morning Moscow time, Mr Putin said that he planned to conduct a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine, confirming fears that he has been massing troops along the border for weeks in preparation for a strategic offensive.

Soon after his announcement, gunfire and explosions could be heard in at least five places in Ukraine or near the Russian border, including the capital Kiev.

Speaking with Fox News presenter Laura Ingraham on the developments, Mr Trump claimed that Russia’s move was due to the results of the 2020 presidential election in the US, which he has long claimed to have been rigged in favour of president Joe Biden.

“He [Mr Putin] was going to be satisfied with a piece and now he sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration,” he said.

“As an American I am angry about it and I am saddened by it. And it all happened because of a rigged election,” Mr Trump added.

He claimed that this would have never happened otherwise. “That includes inflation and that includes millions of people pouring in on a monthly basis, far more than 3 million people,” Mr Trump said. “And they are coming from a 129 different countries and we have no…

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