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A column penned by Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson was mocked on Twitter Tuesday for suggesting that President Biden’s “firm” reaction to escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine has Vladimir Putin longing for the days when former President Trump sat at the helm.
In a piece titled, “With Biden standing firm, Putin must wonder: Where’s Trump when I need him?” Robinson dismisses “amorphous” GOP criticism that Putin is emboldened by Biden’s perceived weakness on the global state.
“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 writes. “With President Biden leading the response, Putin’s potential costs are rising — while his hoped-for benefits have evaporated.”
Robinson proceeds to gush over Biden’s handling of the crisis thus far, repeatedly touting the “transparency” with which the administration is operating by revealing public intelligence assessments and speaking openly of Putin’s supposed plans.
“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 wrote.
“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.
“You will recall that Trump spoke admirably of Putin as ‘a tough cookie,’” Robinson wrote.
With Biden steering ship, Robinson claims, the result of an invasion will “be much costlier for Putin than he calculated. Planned international sanctions, which include mothballing the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, might be secondary. The biggest impact could be the forging of a new sense of unity and purpose among NATO allies — and even, possibly, new interest among non-NATO nations such as Sweden and Finland in joining the alliance.
Putin’s openness to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a Biden-Putin summit might be a “tell.” No, Putin hasn’t blinked. Yes, the U.S. assessment that he has already given the order to invade might be accurate,” he added. “But even as Russian forces strike, Putin will have to ask himself one question: Where’s Trump when I need him?”
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro shared the column on his Twitter Tuesday, accompanied by a seemingly sarcastic, “Nailed it.”
Senior Writer at Real Clear Investigations Mark Hemingway also reacted in a tweet.
“Actual WaPo headline: “With Biden standing firm, Putin must wonder: Where’s Trump when I need him?” Putin invaded Ukraine when Biden was veep in February 2014,” Hemingway pointed out. “They’re invading again now. I don’t think Biden is a deterrent.”