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Russia-Ukraine war: Donald Trump’s request to Moscow that angered the White House

Former US President Donald Trump publicly called, amid widespread criticism of his praise for Vladimir Putin, that the Russian president release any “dirt” he might have on Hunter Biden, the son of current White House chief Joe Biden.

Trump, in an interview with Just the News, seized an unfounded claim that Hunter Biden had obtained a large payment from Elena Baturina, the ex-wife of the late former mayor of Moscow, and asked Putin to provide details about the case.

“She gave him $3.5 million, so now I think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should post it,” Trump said.

“I think we should know that answer,” he added, referring to a Senate report released just weeks before the 2020 US election, which Joe Biden ultimately won.

Joe Biden and his son Hunter, in a 2010 image. Photo: AP

Accusations and denials

That report focused on the role of Biden’s son on the board of directors of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Hunter Biden’s legal team told NBC News in 2020 that the Democrat’s son “had no interest” in that company and did not receive the money, so “the claim that he was paid $3.5 million was false”.

In October 2020, Putin said that he was not aware of any business links between Biden and Baturina.

The request to Putin, widely condemned for the invasion of Ukraine, was not Trump’s first.

Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Republican asked the Russian to find and publish any emails belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can find the missing 30,000 emails,” he said at a news conference in July 2016, when faced with questions about whether he supported foreign meddling in US elections.

Trump later pressured the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden and his father, who was then seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, leading to the former president’s first impeachment trial.

Trump’s comments in the interview come shortly after Republican lawmakers urged President Biden to punish Putin more harshly for waging war against Ukraine.

Praise for Vladimir Putin

The request of the Republican caucus contrasts with the praise expressed days ago by Trump to Putin, shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.

“I walked in yesterday and there was a TV screen, and I said, ‘This is great.’ Putin declares a large part of Ukraine — Putin declares it independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump told a conservative podcaster within hours of Russian troops began their entry into Ukraine on February 24

Trump recently changed his tune, blaming Biden and criticizing Putin for the violence unleashed in Ukraine.

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Joe Biden did nothing to deter Russia’s shameful invasion of Ukraine,” Trump said Saturday.

“All those people are dead,” he continued. “Putin’s heinous attack on a proud and sovereign nation shocks the conscience of every person of good will.”

Source: ANSA

CB

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