Trumpists and ‘conservatives’ cheer Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Republicans Trumpists nationalists nationalism conservatives Russia Ukraine

Trumpists and ‘conservatives’ in the Republican Party cheer Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In what has quickly turned into a new measure of loyalty to Donald Trump and his nationalist takeover of the Republican Party, Trumpists and “conservatives” have been cheering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nationalist cheerleaders of Trump’s brand of conservatism such as Josh Hawley, Tucker Carlson, and other Trumpists and “conservatives” are slamming the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while praising Russian President Vladimir Putin — with Donald Trump leading the way.

In an interview on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show,” Trump called Putin a “genius” for his handling of Ukraine — which is saying something coming from the guy who often declared himself to be “a very stable genius” — and for good measure, he also repeated his claim that the 2020 election was stolen and that if he had remained president, Putin would never have attempted the invasion. (via

“I went in yesterday, and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius,'” he said. “Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful.”

“I said, ‘How smart is that?’ He’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper,” added Trump, who regularly praised and sought close ties with Putin during his time in office. “That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep peace, all right.” (emphasis added)

Hey Donnie, I thought your wall took care of the southern border.

Like any cult leader, Trump depends on an army of Kool-Aid-drinking followers who will parrot his nationalist gospel.

Right-wing commentator Candace Owens blasted the U.S. response in a series of tweets Tuesday, saying Americans should read a transcript of Putin’s address to the UN Security Council “to know what’s *actually* going on,” and claiming that potential NATO membership for Ukraine serves as a threat to Russia and means “WE are at fault.”

On his show Tuesday night, nationalist Tucker Carlson urged Americans to ask, “Why do I hate Putin?” and he questioned why it would be “disloyal” for “conservative” Americans to side with Russia over Ukraine if war breaks out.

Nationalist Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) — he has tied his political fortunes to Trumpism and nationalism — has also repeatedly criticized the U.S. treatment of Russia and said so again in a letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this month criticizing U.S. support for granting Ukraine NATO membership.

Ironically, this isn’t the first time Trump and his nationalist buddies in the Republican Party have picked Russia over Ukraine.

In late 2019, Trump’s was facing impeachment for withholding nearly $400 million in congressionally approved military aid in order to pressure Ukraine’s new president into launching an inquiry into his 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son.

In a lame attempt to change the narrative, Donald Trump and the Republican Party repeated an unfounded claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 elections. Of course, this accusation become the standard talking point as they looked for ways to defend Trump’s impeachable actions in the Ukraine scandal, but it also provided evidence of the disturbing trend within the Republican Party to embrace Russian propaganda for political gain and party preservation.

According to a U.S. Intelligence report at the time, accusations of Ukraine’s 2016 election interference was part of a Russian propaganda campaign designed to take the heat off their own election interference. And with Republicans desperate to avoid going the way of the dodos, they became willing participants in spreading Putin’s big lie.

Historically, GOP has been an acronym for Grand Old Party, and as visitors to my website know, it also stands for Gutless On Principles.

However, Washington Post columnist Max Boot came up with a much more frightening and dangerous acronym to describe the Republican Party’s devolution from conservatism to nationalism: “Gang of Putin.”

In his December 2019 column for, Boot explains:

“Of all the changes that have occurred in our politics since the rise of Donald Trump, the most gut-wrenching for me personally is to see the Republican Party transformed into the Kremlin’s ‘useful idiots.’ As a young refugee from the Soviet Union growing up in Southern California in the 1980s, I was attracted to the GOP because it was the party of moral clarity — the party willing to stand up to the ‘evil empire.’ How far we have come — in the wrong direction.” (emphasis added)

As president, Trump routinely praised Putin. “We have a Republican president who, while reluctantly acceding to sanctions against Russia, incessantly praises its dictator, Vladimir Putin — ‘a terrific person’ — tries to bring Putin back to the Group of Seven; conceals the details of their meetings,” Boot also wrote.

Trumpists and faux conservatives in the media were willing shills for Putin at the time. Calling concern over Russia an “obsession” of the Left, Tucker Carlson declared on his FOX News show that Putin didn’t hate America as much as the media does:

“For Chuck Todd and the rest of the dummies, Vladimir Putin isn’t a real person with actual ideas and priorities and a country and beliefs. No, he stopped being that long ago. He’s a metaphor, a living metaphor, he’s the boogeyman! Step out of line and you’re a traitor in league with Vladimir Putin! … The irony, of course, is that Putin, for all his faults, does not hate America as much as many of these people do. They really dislike our country. And they call other people traitors? Because they’re ‘mouthing the talking points of Putin!’ These are people who don’t know anything about Russia, who don’t speak Russian!” (emphasis added)

A few days prior to this broadcast, Carlson defended Trump against impeachment by openly rooting for Russia to defeat Ukraine, although he later claimed to be joking after taking some heat for it.

Do you remember when conservatives praised Ronald Reagan for referring to the U.S.S.R. as an “evil empire?” Yeah, me too!


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.

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