Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that he send former German Chancellor Angela Merkel a white flag as a ‘gift’ when she made a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
He told the Full Send Podcast that Merkel ‘surrendered to Russia’ when Germany granted the Kremlin-linked company behind the pipeline, which would have transported gas directly from Russia to Germany rather than routes that go through other countries like Ukraine, in 2018.
‘I preached loud and clear to Angela Merkel, you are making a tremendous deal by making this deal with Russia, with Nord Stream 2. And until I came along, no one knew what Nord Stream 2 was,’ Trump bragged.
‘I was telling her loud and clear — and publicly — and in fact, I sent her something as a little gift. It was a white flag. It was a flag of surrender. She said “But what is this?” I said, “That’s a flag of surrender”.’
Nord Stream 2’s critics had warned it could give Moscow outsized influence over the rest of Europe. Supporters challenged that the decision should be economic, not political.
But the pipeline was recently a flashpoint of Western resistance against Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine, which he launched late last month.
Two days before Putin personally ordered the attack on February 24, Germany’s new Chancellor Olaf Scholz halted the Baltic Sea project to punish the Russian autocrat for declaring two breakaway separatist regions of Ukraine as independent states.
The $11 billion project was finished in September but was frozen pending German and European Union certification.
Trump approved sanctions on the pipeline in December 2019, claiming it would make Berlin a ‘hostage of Russia.’
President Joe Biden waived those sanctions in May of last year in an effort to thaw relations with Europe. The project was already 95 percent complete at the time.
Trump said on Wednesday that he has not spoken to Putin since leaving office.
‘I haven’t spoken to him since, but he was never, ever going to, certainly under the Trump administration — and I say zero chance, I don’t say like, I don’t think, zero chance he would have done it. And I spoke to him about it, zero chance he would have done it,’ Trump claimed.
‘He saw the weakness, he saw Afghanistan, that — the way, the incompetence of the withdrawal, the way they did it was so bad.’
Trump went on to say Putin ‘became a different man’ when he saw the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August last year.
‘He viewed the United States differently, he no longer respected the United States,’ Trump said.
This is an excerpt from Daily Mail.
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