Eric Trump Faces Heat Over Comments He Made About Donald Trump's Relationship With Putin

Former President Donald Trump has made his position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine crystal clear, describing Vladimir Putin's move to attack the neighboring country as a stroke of "genius," per CNN. In response to Putin moving troops further into eastern Ukraine — which he erroneously described as a method of "peacekeeping" — the one-time "Apprentice" host gushed, "So Putin is now saying, 'It's independent,' a large section of Ukraine. I said, 'How smart is that?' And he's going to go in and be a peacekeeper. That's the strongest peace force." He continued, "That's the strongest peace force I've ever seen. ...Here's a guy who's very savvy. ... I know him very well. Very, very well." 

During his own presidency, Trump openly praised Putin, confusing the American public when he appeared to work with Russia's best interests in mind, according to CNN. Trump also regards the Russia president as the big, tough strongman who holds the country in the palm of his hand. In fact, according to Trump, he was the one who initially talked Putin out of invading Ukraine on a separate occasion. Given how Trump holds Putin in the highest regard, and how he has frequently been seen cozying up to him, this seems highly unlikely. Still, Trump has at least one supporter in the form of Eric Trump, who's facing ridicule after going to bat for his father once again.

Eric Trump praised his father's close, personal relationship with Putin

During a March 2022 interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity (via HuffPost), Eric Trump posited that Vladimir Putin is just as crazy about his father as the former president is about him. "Putin was in with the KGB, he can read people, and he could tell that Donald Trump was a very strong person," Eric reasoned, via Twitter. This came in response to Hannity's question about why Putin didn't invade Ukraine during Donald's tenure.

 Eric then went on to explain how his dad had warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un not to mess with the United States. "A couple months later, they're shaking hands in North Korea, and the relationship was perfect," he told Hannity. From Eric's perspective, he sees this as proof that Donald is the strongest leader the United States has even seen. This is contrasted, in his view, by President Joe Biden's leadership. As Eric told Hannity, "Biden does the exact opposite of that every single day," because Eric believes the current president is too scared to stand up to Russia. However, it's worth noting that Biden has placed severe sanctions on Russia, per Time. He has also allocated millions of dollars of military and humanitarian aid to help Ukrainian citizens, all without stoking the flames of a potential nuclear war with the invading country.

Social media tore Eric Trump apart over his stance

Judging by his Fox News interview, Eric Trump believes that if only Donald Trump were still in office, he could talk to Vladimir Putin on the phone — unlike Joe Biden, who doesn't have a close relationship with Russia's president. Naturally, Twitter tore Eric Trump apart for suggesting the Russian invasion wouldn't have happened if Donald were in charge. Many Twitter users also pointed to the fact that being cozy with dictators generally isn't something to be proud of.

Others argued that Putin is in total control of the relationship with Donald, and always has been. As one social media commenter tweeted, "Yes @EricTrump, your daddy had a great relationship with Putin, if you consider your daddy being led around on a leash for four years a great relationship." Another argued that Eric has "deluded himself into believing that his dad's perpetual groveling at the feet of Putin was somehow 'strength.'" As usual, many jokes made the rounds about how allegedly desperate Eric is said to be for his father's approval. As the Independent reported in February, Eric told the former president how much he loved him in front of a live audience, only for Donald to respond "thank you." Maybe after this he'll be on surer footing.