Marco Rubio says Donald Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin was just sarcasm

'He doesn't talk like some analyst at a think tank.'

Donald Trump may have called Vladimir Putin “savvy” and a “genius,” but to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio those controversial comments are just sarcasm.

Rubio, who continues to do multiple interviews a day on the Ukraine crisis, was asked Tuesday about Trump’s comments made last week on a conservative talk radio program, where the former President seemed to extol the Russian leader and possible war criminal for smart moves in invading Ukraine last week.

“I heard that interview, OK? I’m not going off the press reports. I heard the interview. I didn’t hear him say that. I heard what I heard. A guy who was being sarcastic. He was saying, ‘Oh, look at this guy, he’s a genius, this, that and the other,” Rubio said on CNBC’s Squawk Box Tuesday.

“The problem is people think Donald Trump is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He doesn’t talk like that! He doesn’t talk like some analyst at a think tank. He doesn’t talk like most people in Washington,” Rubio added.

“But right after he said that stuff — and I don’t agree with all the stuff he’s said about Russia — right after he said all that stuff that people are pointing to, he talked about how we need to impose crushing sanctions,” Rubio continued.

Despite advocating said crushing sanctions, the fact remains Trump offered a singularly dichotomous comparison of the American and Russian leaders in extended comments last week.

“Well, what went wrong was a rigged election, and what went wrong is a candidate that shouldn’t be there and a man that has no concept of what he’s doing. I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton program.

Though the transcript includes the descriptor “(sarcastic)” after Trump’s “Oh, that’s wonderful,” the sarcasm did not apply to the preceding statements.

Trump has been very clear in his position that the 2020 election was not legitimate, and he has routinely bashed Biden’s competency as well.

The former President continued in tones of admiration that didn’t seem especially sarcastic.

“So, Putin is now saying it’s independent, a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force, we could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy. I know him very well. Very, very well,” Trump said.

“You gotta say that’s pretty savvy. And you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn’t have one for that. No, it’s very sad. Very sad,” Trump added.

Rubio said it was “unfortunate” that Trump used that language, arguing that other Republicans used language praising Putin’s savvy that was “twisted.”

“You gotta be careful with every word that you say, because a media narrative will be created against you,” Rubio said.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Mark Buyrm

    March 1, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Now that is funny. One Traitor to this county protecting another Traitor.

    • Mark Buyrm

      March 1, 2022 at 10:32 am


    • Brooks

      March 1, 2022 at 6:18 pm

      Has there been anything, and I’m not trying to sound facetious or sarcastic here, has there been anything Trump has been a part of that has worked out for the best?

      I can name like a hundred things he’s failed at, failed others at, gotten other’s jailed for, gotten other’s sued for, and all the while, somehow gotten himself off the hook.

      Throwing others under the bus is a time-honored American tradition. And Trump, it would seem, has memorized all the bus routes.

    • Morea

      March 1, 2022 at 8:44 pm

      How is it that Donald Trump is a traitor when he wanted Americans to be energy dependent (while he was POTUS) and then Biden comes along and puts a stop to the Keystone Pipeline and in the process makes tens of thousands of jobs (if not millions) evaporate because of his radical policies? Biden then gets his gas and oil from Russia and the Middle East. Who is the traitor here? Who is helping the tyrants and betraying Americans here? Open your eyes, stop being bias in your judgement.

  • Alan

    March 1, 2022 at 10:41 am

    The gaslighter says everything with plausible deniability so that later, he can say “I was being sarcastic!” This column is exactly right—we’re forced to ask which part was sarcastic and which part was sincere?

    We need leaders who speak sincerely. We don’t need Rubios who refuse to hold leaders responsible for their words.

  • Frankie M.

    March 1, 2022 at 11:12 am

    Say what you mean and mean what you say. Trump is alot of things but sarcastic is not one of those and Rubio knows it.

  • Ralph

    March 1, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    Wow. Rubio is a pathetic little man trying to gain favor from putins #1 admirer. How does he still have a job. He’s a traitorous un American piece of garbage.

  • Jerry

    March 1, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Trump voters told us they loved him because he’s “not a politician and says what he means”, yet how many times have people like Rubio had to claim “He didn’t mean what he said” ?

    Sarcasm – the go to excuse when Trump says something indefensible.

    • Purebreddeplorable

      March 2, 2022 at 11:33 pm

      Trump is born and raised in NEW YORK CITY.

      Those folks thrive on sarcasm.

      It’s a good thing Trump wasn’t raised in Wilmington, Delaware.
      If I have to tell you why, perhaps you should study some more.

  • Tracy

    March 1, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Trump is coming back…Thank God…Go bye bye Brandon!

    • Louis

      March 1, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      Trump is going to jail. Thank God. Buh-bye Trumpers!

    • Bob Calderaro

      March 1, 2022 at 8:02 pm

      Let’s go Tracy, and the horse you rode in on.

  • Amy

    March 1, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    Leaders take accountability instead it’s either Hillary’s fault or Biden’s. No ownership with these guys. Lies lies and more lies. Exhausting

  • Thomas H Boyce

    March 1, 2022 at 8:22 pm


  • Vince Inman

    March 1, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    Rubio is a useless coward unfit to represent Floridians

  • Kathy

    March 2, 2022 at 11:24 am

    I call bulls**t. I am curious as to how many times Trump has spoken to Putin since out of office. Long distance relationships are difficult. What I find even more disturbing is the reaction of the audience (cult followers) who cheered at his comments. Truly sick people cheering for the deaths in a Country of people who had no intention of going to war with Putin. Is Trump on one of those yachts in the Maldives?

  • Unicorn80

    March 2, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    Savvy and Genius are not synonymous with character.
    Ever heard of evil geniuses? Putin is an example. Always expect serial Trump hater to misinterpret his comments. So what’s new?

  • Greg Scarfanno

    March 6, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    People, be real. Why would ANYONE praise a dictator? It was a backhanded compliment just like saying “I got to hand it to the Communists infiltrated US institutions and promoting Marxist teachings in education and the justice system. It was genius.” Do I promote Marxism? Hell no! I’m impressed with their evil genius. See the difference? If not, you’re a hopeless Trump Hater and I won’t even bother with you.

Comments are closed.


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