Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Joe Biden of capitulating to Russia, concluding that the president ‘got nothing’ from his meeting in Geneva with Vladimir Putin.
Trump said that, in addition to gaining nothing, Biden had given up the ‘unbelievably valuable’ Nord Stream pipeline.
The U.S. president last month lifted sanctions against the against the company and CEO behind the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would transport natural gas from Russia to Germany.
The pipeline is already more than 90 per cent complete, and Biden concluded that it was not worth antagonizing Germany over. Others, such as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, argued that sanctions should be maintained, to avoid giving the impression of giving in to the Kremlin.
‘I guess the overall is we did not get anything,’ said Trump, speaking to Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.
Donald Trump on Wednesday night appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, to provide his assessment of Joe Biden’s first foreign trip. He said that Biden had given away too much to Vladimir Putin, and said Europe was continuing to ‘screw’ the United States
Hannity asked his friend what he felt about Biden’s performance and cognitive ability, with the 75-year-old Trump being careful not to criticize his 78-year-old successor for being too old
‘We gave a very big stage to Russia, and we got nothing.
‘We gave up something that was unbelievably valuable.
‘I stopped the pipeline, Nord stream, and that pipeline was stopped. And it was given back, and nothing was gotten for it.
‘And it was just, it was another day.’
He added: ‘I think it was a good day for Russia. I don’t see what we got out of it.’
The 75-year-old said that the Nord Stream pipeline particularly irritated him, because Germany was receiving NATO protection and the benefit of 52,000 U.S. troops stationed in their country, yet still wanted to buy their natural gas from Russia.
He said he had ‘stopped it from being built’.
Joe Biden is seen in Geneva on Wednesday, holding a news conference shortly after his meeting with Vladimir Putin concluded. Both Biden and Putin said the meeting had been constructive. But while the two leaders struck a largely positive tone, tensions were apparent. Putin continued to deny Russian involvement in cyberattacks and dismissed questions about the treatment of opposition activist Alexei Navalny
Biden and Putin shake hands on Wednesday in Geneva, at the beginning of their three-hour meeting. The two men have met before, but this is the first time both are heads of their respective countries
Trump explained: ‘I said, let’s get this straight, to Angela, I said: “We protect you, and the people that we protect you from, the country, you are paying billions of dollars, how does that work?”‘
He said he was particularly concerned about the trade imbalance, and accused Europe of ‘screwing’ the United States.
‘Think of it. We pay for their protection, and they – excuse the word – they screw us on trade, that is the only word that is descriptive enough.
‘Because they are in many ways worse than China or as bad as China on trade.
‘How many Chevrolets are being sold in Berlin? Not too many. How many Chevrolets are being sold in Paris? Not too many. Maybe none.
‘And yet, we sell their products, their wines and their cars and their Mercedes and BMWs and everything else, we sell it all over our country, and all of that was stopping.’
Trump, seen on June 5 in North Carolina, spoke to Hannity by phone on Wednesday. He said he had been disappointed by concessions given to Russia
The former president, speaking from his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey – where he is spending the summer – said that the investigations into his own dealings with Russia, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, had made his own dealings with Putin more complicated.
‘For five years, from the day I came down the escalator, we have been under investigation, and it turned out to be all false stuff,’ he said.
‘It was a terrible thing with the Russia, Russia, Russia, which actually made it difficult to deal with Russia.
‘It was a disgrace, an absolute disgrace that it should happen, and it really was dangerous and very bad for our country.’
Trump held his first formal summit with Putin in 2018, concluding with an announcement that shocked the world: He supported Putin’s claim that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, despite the findings of his own intelligence officials.
Fiona Hill, then Trump’s top Russia adviser, she had considered pulling a fire alarm or faking a medical emergency just to end the ‘terrible spectacle.’
Hannity asked Trump whether he thought Biden was right not to hold a joint press conference with Putin in Geneva, to which Trump replied: ‘I got along really well with him. Nobody was tougher on Russia. He would say that, but nobody was tougher on Russia.’
And he said that he was dismayed by Biden, asked whether he still believed Putin was a killer, laughing.
Trump said he wished Biden well, but he was concerned.
‘I think the election was unbelievably unfair, but I want this guy to go out and do well for our country,’ said Trump.
‘I don’t want to see a scene like that. I watched that yesterday, I thought it was terrible. It was terrible.
‘Nobody knew what was happening.’