Former Australian PM: Trump acts like 12-year-old boy around Putin

Source: The Hill | February 27, 2024 | Sarah Siock

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described former President Trump’s rhetoric around Russian President Vladimir Putin as an admiring “12-year-old boy.”

Speaking on Australian ABC’s “Q+A” show, Turnbull spoke about Trump’s interactions with Putin is in “awe” of Putin during their interactions.

“When you see Trump with Putin, as I have on a few occasions, he’s like the 12-year-old boy who goes to high school and meets the captain of the football team. My hero,” Turnbull said Monday on Australian ABC’s “Q+A” show. “It’s really creepy.” 

Turnbull’s criticism comes after the former president compared the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to his own legal woes, and, unlike President Biden and other U.S. leaders, did not place blame on the Kremlin.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a recent interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, also voiced concerns about Trump’s understanding of Putin.

“I don’t think he understands that Putin will never stop,” Zelensky said.

Turnbull also warned that Trump winning reelection in November could pose a threat to national security. He said the former president — who is the front-runner in the GOP primary race — is leading a party “no longer committed to democracy.”

“The scary thing is that for countries like Australia and many European countries, we may find ourselves not dealing just with two autocracies in Russia and China, but what is Trump’s America going to look like?” Turnbull said. “This is a guy leading a party that is no longer committed to democracy as we understand it.”

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