Kudlow: That’s something Trump wouldn’t have done

Today on a radio talk show I was asked if Vladimir Putin would have invaded Ukraine if my former boss, President Trump, was still in office. “Absolutely not” was my immediate response. Putin wouldn’t have done that.

Why? Because the minute Trump saw 150,000 Russian troops massing in eastern Ukraine, Trump would have called Putin and shaken his cage. That’s right, shook his cage. Do you know what I mean by that?

I believe the former president would have said to Putin, “You do a stunt like invading Ukraine and we will immediately wipe your economy off the map. We are independent of energy. We are a net exporter of energy. We don’t need your power and gas, and we’ll shut you down immediately.”


President Joe Biden delivers remarks on developments in Ukraine and Russia, and announces sanctions against Russia, from the East Room of the White House on February 22, 2022. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Instead of withholding sanctions and letting Putin decide like President Biden did, Asset would have taken action right away.

If his phone conversation wasn’t satisfactory, boom, immediate sanctions against the central bank, immediate sanctions against commercial banks, immediate sanctions against Russian oil companies – no disqualifications, no waiting times, nothing at all. Action.

That’s the kind of president Trump was. He would say, “Call him on the phone,” and then he would read Putin the Riot Act.

Hear what the president said about Putin this weekend.

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But as far as what’s happening now, it would have been so easy for me to stop this parody from happening. He understood me, and he understood that I didn’t play games. It wouldn’t have happened.

Remember, Trump was a guy who bombed Syria while he and Chinese President Xi were having chocolate cake dessert at Mar-a-Lago in late 2017. Remember that?

Do you remember a night when Trump took out Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani? He was the guy, the relentless killer, who funded Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda. Trump just kicked him out. He did not seek permission from 15 global multilateral institutions. He just acted.

“Better to be feared than loved,” Machiavelli taught us 500 years ago, and Trump was feared. Do you remember Trump dropping the “mother of all bombs” on ISIS-K in Afghanistan in 2017?


Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Do you remember Trump just fearlessly crossing the North Korean DMZ line? Do you remember how many trips Trump made to the US-Mexico border? And finally, remember that the United States became energy independent during the Trump years?

If Trump was still president in 2021 when Putin began building up his troops on the Ukrainian border, the United States would still have been energy independent.

After the pandemic, he would have extorted the US fossil fuel sector to recover more than 13 million BPD on the way to 14 million BPD, and that would have kept oil prices around $40-50 a barrel, and that would have prevented all of Putin’s wartime funding taking advantage of rising oil prices fueled by Biden’s anti-fossil fuel jihad. Trump would have succeeded on the Keystone pipeline and the ANWR.

Trump’s FERC would not have frozen energy leases on federal lands. The SEC and Trump’s Federal Reserve would not harass fossil fuel companies about bureaucracy and withholding bank credit. There would be no hard left climate activists in a Trump administration. He has proposed a comprehensive energy policy, which Senator Manchin advocated on this show last night. Listen:

SEN. JOE MANCHIN: I’m just in a different place than my caucus, or my colleagues, or the chair, and they have a hard time understanding that you have to use everything you have. You have to use your gas. You must use your coal. You have to use your oil and you develop either wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and hydrogen. I am for all these things.

Fossil fuels and nuclear energy. It’s a common sense policy, but that of Joe Biden the war against fossil fuels has allowed Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Exorbitant prices financed Putin’s war machine. Biden’s “too little too late” leading behind sanctions diplomacy and the fact that he is neither loved nor feared at home or abroad.

Here is one more thing that Donald Trump would never have tolerated: a new Iranian nuclear deal.

In fact, Trump walked away from that old, ineffective deal. It’s an amazing story. Amid this Ukraine crisis, US diplomats may be hours away from delivering $11 billion in aid to Iran under a new appeasement deal with the terrorist country.

Let’s not forget that Iran is aligned with Moscow. Is this what we want?


Iran lies, cheats and steals. Iran will not let UN inspectors come in to inspect. Iran is closing in on a nuclear bomb and Biden is set to pay over $11 billion allegedly for the release of four American hostages to provide a nuclear bomb to one of the world’s most evil regimes?

Really? This is something Donald Trump would never have done. It’s my riff.

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the March 3, 2022 edition of “Kudlow”.

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