In a statement posted to his website this week, former President Donald Trump expressed his displeasure over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"It doesn’t make sense that Russia and Ukraine aren’t sitting down and working out some kind of an agreement," Trump said. "If they don’t do it soon, there will be nothing left but death, destruction, and carnage. This is a war that never should have happened, but it did. The solution can never be as good as it would have been before the shooting started, but there is a solution, and it should be figured out now—not later—when everyone will be DEAD!"
But as New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait points out, Trump did not use the words "Putin" or "attack" in his statement, instead framing the conflict as a problem where two sides failed to come to a mutual understanding.
Chait reviewed Trump's previous statements about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and said that that aside from Trump's continual apologist rhetoric when it comes to Vladimir Putin, it's his habit of using the "passive voice" that's noteworthy.
"That is not a construction he employs frequently, but in this case, it serves his purpose of presenting Russia’s invasion as if it were a natural disaster — a tragedy that occurred naturally with no author or source of blame. He has used this device repeatedly," Chait wrote.
Other GOP leaders don't seem to have a problem using more direct language to describe Putin's crimes, but if you begin "with the premise that Russia set out to subjugate its neighbor and Ukraine merely wishes to coexist peacefully, then the lack of diplomatic progress makes perfect sense," Chait said.
"The banal truth remains that Trump has a persistent sympathy for Putin and Russia that places him well outside the mainstream of either party," he concluded.
Read the full op-ed over at New York Magazine.
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