What Some Americans Believe Would Happen In Ukraine If Trump Was President

After President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, some Republicans claimed that the Russian leader would not have attacked Ukraine if Donald Trump was still president. In a February 26 speech, Trump furthered this notion by proclaiming things would be different if he was still in the White House. New York Post reported that Trump told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference, "This horrific disaster would never have happened if our election was not rigged and if I was the president." (For the record, claims of the election being rigged have been disproven.)

On February 23, Trump even told a group of donors at Mar-a-Lago that Putin's actions were "pretty smart," per a video circulating on Twitter. Meanwhile, Daily Beast reported Republican Sen. Tom Cotton claimed that Putin's attack was due to "a year of Joe Biden's impotence and incompetence towards Russia in particular and in foreign policy more generally." Days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sen. Ted Cruz told Fox News Sunday that "Biden becoming president is the best thing that ever happened ... for Vladimir Putin." Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney was more nuanced in his criticism of Biden. Romney told The Atlantic that Biden was "wise to bring in allies" and share intelligence, but the White House should have been "much more aggressive in sending defensive weapons to Ukraine."

A poll released on February 26 showed that some Americans agree with these kinds of GOP claims about Putin's invasion.

62% of Americans agree with Trump's take on Putin's invasion

A new poll supports Republican claims that the Ukraine invasion by Vladimir Putin may not have happened on former President Donald Trump's watch. Of the Americans polled, 62% believe this assertion. New York Post reported on the Harvard Center for American Political Studies (CAPS)-Harris Poll, which was released on February 26 and collected online responses from 2,026 registered voters. Broken down by party lines, the poll results showed 85% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats surveyed believed Putin would not have made these moves if Trump was in the White House. 

However, Voice of America, the largest and oldest U.S.-funded international media outlet, talked to experts who countered these GOP claims and poll results. Brookings Institution director of research Michael O'Hanlon, who's the author of "Beyond NATO: A New Security Architecture for Eastern Europe," talked to Voice of America and disagreed with the idea that Putin was afraid of Trump. O'Hanlon said, "The only reason that Putin might not have wanted to do this ... wouldn't have been out of fear of Trump. It would have been affection for Trump and not wanting to do this on the watch of his fellow strongman." Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Joshua Shifrinson, told VOA that Putin might have felt driven to act by "Biden's embrace of America's NATO allies." 

It appears the new poll is another topic for politicians to debate!

Americans disapprove of Biden's handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis

While the poll results should be taken with a grain of salt, another survey pointed out how the majority of Americans are not happy with how President Joe Biden is currently tackling the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

According to a Gallup survey, only 36% of Americans are in favor of the president's handling of the situation, while 55% expressed their disapproval. Furthermore, less than two-thirds of Democrats (64%), 11% of Republicans, and 35% of independents back Biden's efforts. Conversely, 86% of Republicans think his response has been ineffective, as do 53% of independents and 31% of Democrats.

It's also interesting to note that many Americans are unhappy with how Biden is compromising America's leadership in the world. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 48% of citizens believe that the country's leadership in the world has gotten weaker under Biden's presidency. Only 23% think it has gotten stronger, while 26% believe it has remained the same.

Republicans view Biden more negatively than Putin

In recent months, President Joe Biden's approval rating has noticeably plummeted. In fact, it has reached the point where he now has the second-lowest approval of any president in history, beating out only Trump. A slew of factors have contributed to this disappointing rating, including the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan, the mishandling of COVID-19 cases, inflation and supply chain issues, and a whole lot more.

What's even more surprising is that many Republicans view Biden in such a negative light that they believe he's worse than President Vladimir Putin. In a poll conducted by Fox News before Russia invaded Ukraine, 92% of Republicans polled had a negative perception of Biden, while only 81% viewed Putin negatively. Meanwhile, Democrats viewed Trump more negatively than they did Putin, with 87% admitting their disapproval of the former president, while 85% showed contempt for the Russian leader.

As of this writing, the war between Ukraine and Russia still has not eased, and Biden has not made a move that's made a significant impact on the situation. Only time will tell if these numbers will eventually improve.