By Jack Forrest, CNN
Former president donald trump would not say on Wednesday night who he thinks should prevail in Russia’s war against Ukraineinstead, he tells New Hampshire Republican primary voters that he wants “everyone to stop dying.”
“I want everyone to stop dying. Russians and Ukrainians are dying. I want them to stop dying,” Trump said in cnn town hall moderated by “CNN This Morning” host Kaitlan Collins. “And I’ll have it ready in 24 hours.”
Trump, declining to say whether he wants Ukraine to successfully deter Russia when pressured by Collins, told the audience gathered at Saint Anselm College that he does not “think in terms of win or lose.”
“I think in terms of resolving it so that we stop killing all these people,” he said.
Asked by a Republican voter who will vote for the first time in 2024 on whether to support supplying US military aid to Ukraine, Trump would not commit to sending aid to the war-torn country if he wins the Republican presidential nomination and then the White House.
“We are giving away so much equipment that we don’t have ammunition for ourselves right now,” he said. “We have no ammunition for ourselves, we are giving away so much.”
The White House last week estimated that the Russian army it has suffered more than 100,000 casualties since December in its war with Ukraine. The United States defines the term “casualty” as wounded and killed.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby declined at the time to provide information on Ukrainian casualties, noting that it is Ukraine’s decision to make its casualty figures public. “Ukrainians are the victims here, Russia is the aggressor… I don’t need to abide by the same sense of courtesy to the Russians,” he said.
Pressed by Collins on the conflict, Trump responded: “I’ll say this: I want Europe to put up more money.”
United States has provided Ukraine with $36.9 billion in military aid since the start of the war in February 2022.
Trump: Putin is a “smart guy” who “made a tremendous mistake”
While Trump said he would meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin and resolve the war in Ukraine “in one day, 24 hours,” he did not say whether he believed Putin was a war criminal, but that he “should be discussed”. later.”
Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan told CNN in March he believed that Putin could be tried for alleged crimes committed during the Russian war.
The ICC issued arrest warrants in March for Putin and Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova for an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia, a practice the Russian government has defended as lifesaving and denies the deportations are forced.
Thousands of Ukrainian children have been subjected to forced deportations by Russia, according to Zelensky, who praised the ICC decision at the time.
“If you say he’s a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot harder to come to an agreement to stop this,” Trump said. “If he’s going to be a war criminal, people are going to grab him and execute him, he’s going to fight a lot harder than he would otherwise.”
Trump called Putin “a smart guy” but said the Russian leader “made a tremendous mistake.”
Of course he’s smart. They want you to say that he is stupid. He is not a stupid person and he is very cunning. Putin made a serious mistake in my opinion.”
Asked to explain further, Trump said: “Your mistake was going in. He would never have gotten in if I were president,” referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The CNN Wire
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CNN’s Tori B. Powell, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury, Amir Vera, Caitlin Hu, Betsy Klein, DJ Judd, Oren Liebermann and Haley Britzky contributed to this report.