Eric Trump was criticized after he claimed his father, former Republican President Donald Trump, would not have allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine because Putin could tell the former President was a "strong person."
The younger Trump made the remarks during an interview with Fox News personality Sean Hannity, who had invited him onto his program to ask him what his father would have done had Putin opted to invade Ukraine before Democratic President Joe Biden took office.
You can hear Eric Trump's remarks in the videos below.
Eric Trump: My father would\u2019ve called up and said \u201cVladimir, don\u2019t even think about it. Don\u2019t even try us. I\u2019m telling you it\u2019s not going to work out very well for you\u201dpic.twitter.com/Zy1FiYiOJp— Acyn (@Acyn) 1647307885
"Putin was in with the KGB. He can read people and he can tell that Donald Trump was a very strong person, right?"
He went on:
My father would've called up and said, 'Vladimir don't even think about it. Don't even try us, I'm telling you it's not going to work out very well for you'."
However former President Trump's praise for dictators is well documented.
Trump, who has long cozied up to Putin, sparked international controversy during the now infamous 2018 Helsinki summit after he publicly sided with Putin over the assessment of his own intelligence agencies that Russian operatives subverted the 2016 general election and undermined American democracy.
Given this almost sycophantic behavior, many found Eric Trump's claim absurd.
Yes, Eric Trump's father has such a good relationship with Putin that it's hard to tell the difference between them.https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— I can't believe it's Butter (@I can't believe it's Butter) 1647360202
Alas, certain lies have a nasty habit of returning to haunt you, at the worst time possible. Some people are just too stupid and arrogant to know when to just STFU.https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— Seven Star Hand (@Seven Star Hand) 1647359660
I guess servant-master is technically a form of relationship, but I wouldn\u2019t call it greathttps://twitter.com/acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1647346535
Well, Eric Trump's not wrong there. \nThank you Mr. President @JoeBiden for taking out the trash and treating the enemy like the enemy, instead of licking his boots. #GodBlessAmericahttps://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— Louise Mensch \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Louise Mensch \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1647347886
Eric saying his daddy had a \u201cgreat relationship\u201d with a murderous dictator isn\u2019t the flex he thinks it is.https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— K\u03a3K\u2122 Stands with Black Lives (@K\u03a3K\u2122 Stands with Black Lives) 1647348675
Yes but what would Eric Trump know about having a great relationship with his father?https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— John Fugelsang (@John Fugelsang) 1647352747
He says this like it is a good thing.https://twitter.com/acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— Doris Collier (@Doris Collier) 1647357125
Only in MAGAritville is being buddies with war criminal dictators who poison & push opponents out of windows....thought of a a selling pointhttps://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— Nana Sue says Save democracy VOTE Blue in 22 (@Nana Sue says Save democracy VOTE Blue in 22) 1647342271
Eric! If your father has such a great relationship with Putin, why doesn\u2019t he pick up his phone and call or text the Kremlin and ask him to just stop with the bombing and killing?https://twitter.com/acyn/status/1503543544069328896\u00a0\u2026— DARCY \ud83c\udf3b \ud83d\udc99 \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 \ud83d\udc9b \ud83c\udf3b (@DARCY \ud83c\udf3b \ud83d\udc99 \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 \ud83d\udc9b \ud83c\udf3b) 1647353874
In January, Eric Trump's brother, Donald Trump Jr. made the erroneous claim that Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is to blame for Russian aggression toward Ukraine, thereby elevating conspiracy theories spread by their father.
And just last week, Trump Jr. was criticized after he characterized his father as a master manipulator who'd simply flattered noted authoritarians to suit his own ends.
Mocking people who've criticized Trump for "folding" to dictators, Trump Jr. insisted that his father's detractors amount to "some nerd in his mom's basement who's never dealt with anything" and "never actually understood those people."
He suggested that his father had merely "played" Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "like a fiddle," a claim that does not hold up per analyses from international security experts like veteran diplomat William Burns, who once said that Trump's attempts to build personal relationships and curry favor with authoritarians like Putin and Kim make him appear "weak" at the negotiating table.