01:02 GMT24 July 2021
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    Former President Donald Trump gave a phone interview on Sean Hannity's show on Wednesday night to offer his take on the outcome of Joe Biden's Europe trip and meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Ex-POTUS Donald Trump accused his successor of numerous giveaways to Russia, as he weighed in on the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden in Geneva.

    The two leaders met at Villa La Grange for their first summit since Biden became president in January to discuss a plethora of issues, including bilateral relations, arms control and human rights.

    According to Trump, President Biden “got nothing” from his sit-down with his Russian counterpart.

    “I guess the overall is we did not get anything. 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” said Trump, speaking to Sean Hannity's Fox News show.

    He added:

    “I think it was a good day for Russia. I don't see what we got out of it.”

    Nord Stream

    Speaking from his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, Donald Trump said that while gaining nothing, Joe Biden had capitulated to Russia on the “unbelievably valuable” Nord Stream pipeline.

    While blacklisting 13 Russian ships and three companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 – the nearly-completed pipeline set to bring Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea – in May, the administration of President Biden waived sanctions against Switzerland-registered Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO Matthias Warnig.

    Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Germany
    © Sputnik / Ekaterina Solovieva
    Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Germany

    The decision was reportedly prompted by a desire to avoid antagonising key ally Germany over a project that is already more than 90 percent complete. Joe Biden refused to be pressured into more aggressive moves to kill the project by others within the US State Department, reported The Washington Post earlier.

    Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, his deputy Wendy Sherman and Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland are said to have argued that the sanctions policy should be maintained to avoid giving the impression of giving in to the Kremlin.

    Donald Trump voiced particular irritation over the Nord Stream pipeline issue, which he maintained he had “stopped from being built”.

    “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?”” said Trump, in a reference to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 52,000 US troops stationed in their country as part of NATO’s defence force.

    Trump lamented that “within a matter of weeks, we will no longer be energy independent”.

    “…We are going to be relying again on the Middle East and Russia and all of these other people because we are being led very, very stupidly," said the former US President.

    Trade Imbalance

    Taking stock of Joe Biden’s Europe trip for the G7 meeting, the 45th POTUS said he was particularly irked by the manifest trade imbalance, and accused Europe of “screwing” the United States. As he underscored the NATO alliance’s dedication to protect Europe and referenced the US-China trade war, he said:

    “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.”

    Trump continued:

    “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.”

    ‘All False Stuff’

    The former president, who held his first formal summit with Vladimir Putin in 2018, touched upon the investigations into his own dealings with Russia, spearheaded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    “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.”

    Regarding Biden’s decision not to hold a joint press conference with Putin in Geneva, Trump stated: “I got along really well with him. Nobody was tougher on Russia. He would say that, but nobody was tougher on Russia.”

    U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017
    © REUTERS / Carlos Barria
    U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017

    Trump also commented on Joe Biden’s public speaking bloopers, as he referenced his non-answer to a reporter's question about whether Biden still sees Putin as a "killer".

    "So, you know, his age is not the problem, and look, I hope he has no problems… I want him to do well. I want him to go out and do well. I think the election was unbelievably unfair, but I want this guy to go out and do well for our country,” said Trump.

    As to the question of whether he would be running for the top office again, Trump refused to commit to an official future campaign, but hailed the “numbers”.

    "If you look at the numbers, people are liking me more than ever before, but I think the reason is they're watching what is happening with our country… They are watching no energy independence, death and criminals pouring into our country, inflation, interest rates, and gasoline prices… And I guess it is making me very popular," concluded Trump.

     

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    Tags:
    Nord Stream AG, Nord Stream, Nord Stream 2, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Joe Biden
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