Former US president Donald Trump said he would be able to end the war in Ukraine in a single day if re-elected president.
“I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled,” Trump said in a CNN town hall before a live audience in the state of New Hampshire.
“I want everybody to stop dying. They’re dying. Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying. And I’ll have that done,” Trump said, opposing the establishment Republican policy of backing Kyiv.
“I’ll have that done in 24 hours. I’ll have it done. You need the power of the presidency to do it,” Trump said.
Earlier in the town hall, Trump insisted that he could halt the war that began in February last year by negotiating directly with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I’ll meet with Putin. I’ll meet with Zelensky. They both have weaknesses and they both have strengths. And within 24 hours, that war will be settled. It’ll be over,” Trump said.
At another moment, Trump declined to say if he believes that Putin is a war criminal for alleged atrocities committed in Ukraine.
“If you say he’s a war criminal it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped,” he said.
“If he’s going to be a war criminal, people are going to grab him and execute him, he’s going to fight a lot harder than he’s fighting under the other circumstance. That’s something to be discussed at a later day.”
The former president also said he thinks that “Putin made a mistake” by invading Ukraine.
When asked to elaborate, Trump said, “His mistake was going in. He would have never gone in if I was president.”
Trump, 76, has already announced his bid for a 2024 comeback and is a frontrunner to be the Republican Party’s nominee, despite having been criminally indicted and remaining under multiple other investigations on serious allegations.