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“Real Time” host Bill Maher closed his show Friday night by suggesting it’s worth pondering why Russian President Vladimir Putin took action in Ukraine during the Biden presidency instead of the Trump presidency.
Maher spent much of his monologue hitting partisans on both sides of the aisle for using the Russia-Ukraine war to prove “everything we already believed and everything goes back to what we already hate,” citing Republicans blaming President Biden for the ongoing war and Democrats blaming former President Trump.
The host dinged Biden for “dragging January 6th into this,” then quoted the president when he said, “Look, how would you feel if you saw crowds storm and break down the doors of the British Parliament, kill five cops, injure 145? Or the German Bundestag? Or the Italian Parliament? I think you’d wonder.”
“OK, but if Putin thought Trump was really that supportive of him, why didn’t he invade when Trump was in office?” Maher reacted. “It’s at least worth asking that question if you’re not locked into one intransigent thought.”
‘Locked into one thought’
“Now, one guy we know is locked into one thought is Donald Trump, who would ask what went wrong with Ukraine said, ‘Well, what went wrong was a rigged election.’ Kanye thinks less about Pete Davidson than Trump thinks about the rigged election,” Maher quipped.
“Kanye thinks less about Pete Davidson than Trump thinks about the rigged election.”
Liberal media view
While Maher thinks the question of why Putin decided not to invade Ukraine under Trump is worthy of discussion, many in the liberal media don’t agree, including MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd.
During a panel discussion on “Meet the Press Daily,” Todd discussed the perception voters have that the Russian invasion would never have occurred if Trump was still in the White House.
“There was this focus group – and it’s qualitative, not quantitative – where swing voters, Trump-Biden voters, seem to buy the idea that Putin wouldn’t have done this in Trump was president,” Todd said to Democratic strategist and former DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa. “How does the Democratic Party answer for that?”
Todd then went out of his way to vocally reject the notion voters believe about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.
“I don’t buy that,” the MSNBC host stressed.”I don’t think that matches logic, but voters do. That’s a perception issue.”
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson went even further, suggesting Putin regrets not having invaded Ukraine under the past administration.
‘Potential costs are rising’
“If Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to gobble up another chunk of Ukraine at little or no cost to his own interests, he should have done it while Donald Trump was still president,” Robinson wrote. “With President Biden leading the response, Putin’s potential costs are rising — while his hoped-for benefits have evaporated.”
“Putin might have assumed he would be believed when he claimed his troops were simply conducting exercises and had begun to head home. Biden and his aides responded with more transparency, reporting that Putin was actually adding to his potential invasion force, not subtracting from it,” Robinson told readers.
“Contrast all of this with what possibly, or probably, would have happened had Trump still been in office,” Robinson continued, claiming that Trump’s “America First” foreign policy infused with “neo-isolationism” would have been more appealing to Putin than Biden’s.