The former president claims that the Ukraine conflict would never have happened on his watch
Former US President Donald Trump told Newsmax on Monday that President Joe Biden has eviscerated the national economy and dragged the country toward a "world war" over Ukraine.
Trump also added that he "doesn't know of anything" that would stop him running for office again in 2024.
"Our country is in a lot of trouble," Trump told Newsmax host Eric Bolling. "Our country has never been like this."
The former president insisted that if he was still in power, "the Ukraine war would have never happened - Russia going into Ukraine - would have never ever happened."
Trump did not explain how he would have prevented the conflict, but insisted that America was "respected" under his administration, claiming he would also have "had a deal done" with Iran over its nuclear ambitions within a week of his re-election in 2020, rather than the stalled negotiations taking place now.
Trump's position on Ukraine has shifted since Russia launched its military operation there in late February. After telling Fox News in March that he would send nuclear-armed submarines "coasting back and forth, up and down [Russia's] coast," he called in April for a negotiated end to the conflict, stating that it "doesn't make sense that Russia and Ukraine aren't sitting down and working out some kind of an agreement."
Trump has since hammered Biden for sending tens of billions worth of military aid to Kiev, stating that stoking the conflict would "lead to World War III."
Trump himself designated hundreds of millions of dollars to Ukraine during his time in office. However, he reportedly had to be convinced to do so by his aides, and was concerned about Ukraine's ability "to pay us back." Trump was also impeached in 2020 for temporarily withholding $391 million in military aid as he pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to clamp down on corruption in his country - including the allegedly corrupt business dealings of the Biden family in Ukraine.
Trump's interview with Bolling largely focused on the dire state of the US economy, wracked by a 40-year-high inflation rate and record gas prices. The former president blamed rising fuel costs on Biden's crackdown on domestic energy production and the administration's focus on green energy.
"We have liquid gold right under our feet, and we were taking it like never before, and now we're begging other countries to give it to us," Trump said, referring to Biden's day-one decision to ban drilling on federal land. "But they're going green, and green isn't powerful enough. It can't fire up our plants, not even close."
Regarding the widely-held belief that he will run for the presidency again in 2024, Trump told Bolling "I don't know anything" that would stop me from competing. "I love our country, I'll do what's right for our country," he concluded.