Having dealt closely with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping for over four years, former President Donald Trump considers them “twin sisters” and says China wants Taiwan “equally badly.”
“By the way, China’s going to be next,” Trump told Tuesday’s “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.”
When pressed on whether Trump truly believes China is going to invade Taiwan, he is convinced: “Oh, absolutely.”
“Not with me, they wouldn’t have,” Trump noted. “They were waiting until after the Olympics. Now that the Olympics are over, look at your stopwatch, right?
“No, [Xi] wants that, too. It’s almost like twin sisters right here – because you have one that wants Taiwan, I think equally badly.”
Trump said he was able to keep Putin from invading Ukraine during his administration, if only on mere bravado.
“He’s acting a little differently, I think, now,” Trump said of Putin after he boldly declared large swaths of Ukraine “independent” Monday. “I think he sees this opportunity. I knew that he always wanted Ukraine. I used to talk to him about it.
“I said, ‘you can’t do it. You’re not going to do it.’
“But I could see that he wanted it. I used to ask him. We used to talk about it at length. Nobody probably knows him better, in terms of the discussions that we had.”
Like Ukraine, Taiwan is not a NATO member country, but U.S. code does designate “Taiwan shall be treated as though it were designated a major non-NATO ally.”
But Trump, like Putin, has been an outspoken critic of NATO.
“Look at NATO, I called it a paper tiger – as soon as a problem comes up, you’re going to have people that pull away,” Trump said Tuesday.
“And I got them to pay $400 billion. There were eight countries out of 28 that were paid up, including us. We were paid up. We were more than paid up. We were making up the difference.”
Trump noted his dealings with NATO members, regaling the show about how he get billions to flow in during his administration.
“‘You mean to tell us, you will not protect us if we’re not paid up?'” Trump recalled being asked, saying he responded: “That’s right, we will not protect you if you’re not paid up.
“The next day, billions of dollars flowed in,” Trump said Tuesday.