Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro is repeating a growing conservative sentiment that former U.S. President Donald Trump‘s strength prevented Russian President Vladimir Putin from attacking other countries during Trump’s presidency.
Pirro’s comments follow a general trend among Fox News hosts, essentially blaming President Joe Biden for Putin’s invasion and its consequences. Republican leaders, including Trump, have echoed similar talking points, even as polls show that voters largely approve of Biden’s actions against Russia since its war on Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Pirro’s co-host Geraldo Rivera insinuated that “Putin was playing Trump” during the ex-president’s era in the White House to unwittingly further Russia’s goals.
“Oh stop it,” Pirro replied. “He wasn’t playing Trump. He didn’t invade when Trump was president. It’s not about loving Trump. It’s about the fact that Trump had everybody against the wall. … I don’t give a damn what Putin thinks [of Trump]. I only care what Putin did. And he was a wuss when Trump was president, and that’s the end of it.”
In his Monday night broadcast, fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity said that “the world does not have a strong and a decisive U.S. president” in the face of Russia’s invasion and other growing international threats.
Hannity said Biden wasn’t responding forcefully to Iran’s weekend missile strike near a new U.S. consulate building under construction in northern Iraq because Biden wants to preserve a nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran.
Hannity also accused Biden of doing nothing amid reports that China has promised to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to deliver “the worst consequences for any country that supports Taiwan’s military.”
“Joe Biden is doing absolutely nothing to counter all of this aggression on the world stage, and his pathetic, feckless weakness, it is causing all of this,” Hannity said.
He also criticized Biden for helping end a proposed transfer of fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine because the deal involved the use of a U.S. airbase.
“Joe is worried that the deal would upset and anger Putin and Russia. It shows nothing but weakness,” Hannity said. “As we all know, weakness invites aggression.”
Fellow Fox News host Laura Ingraham also blamed Biden for his allegedly weak response to China’s aiding of Russian forces during the invasion.
In her Monday night broadcast, Ingraham mentioned White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan‘s “intense” seven-hour talk with the Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission in Rome, Italy. After the talk, a U.S. senior official said that Sullivan had mentioned “the potential implications and consequences” of China aiding Russia.
Ingraham said the meeting provided no “deliverables” in the form of changed behavior or actual consequences even though China is aiding Russia, she said, by buying Russia’s agricultural products and oil, creating “a total end-run around Western sanctions” against Russia for its invasion.
She then accused Biden of not being willing to stand up to administration officials reluctant to take a harder line against China.
“Now, what are the actual chances that the feeble-minded Biden is going to stand up to [administration officials and] the myriad of business and financial interests doing China’s bidding,” Ingraham asked. “Now what about the ads he’ll take on the media establishment that loves and protects China 24/7? The answer: zero, no chance.”
In the past, Trump has also criticized Biden, stating that the threat of sanctions wasn’t strong enough to stop Russia from invading Ukraine.
A poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found that 47 percent of Americans approve of the Biden administration’s handling of the Russian invasion—only 39 percent disapproved. The poll also found that 42 percent of respondents say the U.S. should be providing more support to Ukraine and that 35 percent support taking military action, even if its risks nuclear war with Russia.
Newsweek contacted Fox News for comment.
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