OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Twice failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is blaming Donald Trump and praising Joe Biden for his “response” to Russia invading Ukraine.
During an interview Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Clinton repeatedly suggested that Trump and Republicans were responsible for enabling Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Clinton accused Trump of “giving aid and comfort” to Putin, claiming Republicans were playing into Russia’s ambitions to “undermine democracy” by viewing him as a strong leader.
Below is a transcript of the exchange:
SCARBOROUGH: “Well, you warned about this in 2016, and here we are six years later, Russian disinformation has actually made it into mainstream media in America. It is now being replayed on Russian state television. And there are also quite a few — quite a few opinion-makers who clearly are parroting Russian disinformation every day, whether it’s on cable news or — “
BRZEZINSKI: “Or members of Congress.”
SCARBOROUGH: “ — or newsletters or whether it’s members of Congress.”
SCARBOROUGH: “How has this happened?”
HILLARY: “Right. Well, I think it’s happened because starting with the ascent of Trump, there has been, sadly, a total loss of spine and conscience among too many Republicans who at first saw no harm in echoing and parroting the kind of crazy stuff that Trump would say, totally against history, against common sense, as you know so well, and now they’re kind of caught in a bit of a downward spiral where they’re afraid to stand against even the most outrageous comments. There’s also another element, which is these people are naive in such a dangerous way. They somehow believe that because Putin presents himself as a strong leader on behalf of certain values that are, you know, anti-gay, that are anti-freedom and democracy that’s so messy, that somehow that corresponds with the views of certain members and elements of the Republican Party. They could not be more mistaken. You know, this man is not — you know, he takes no prisoners, he kills them, he poisons them, he imprisons them, whatever. And I think the naiveté that we saw starting with Trump, but which has now been accelerated, is really hard to understand, Joe. But nevertheless, we have to deal with it and we have to call it out. More people in the press and in politics need to be doing that.”
SCARBOROUGH: “And for those who are watching, who don’t quite follow that logic about a certain element of the far right and Vladimir Putin, Mika, the same thing has been happening with Hungary where the certain element of the Trump right are bowing down to a guy who’s celebrating the collapse of Western democracy, of liberal democracy, in Orban.”
She also praised Biden for his handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
BRZEZINSKI: “All right, joining us now, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. It’s very good to have you joining us this morning during this difficult time. I first want to ask you what you think of President Biden’s response so far in terms of getting collaboration from our allies, as well as messaging the strategy to the nation.”
HILLARY: “Well, Mika, I think that it has been well-executed. There is no doubt that we were not in a position just a few years ago to rally anybody, and now with President Biden rallying NATO, rallying not only western Europe and eastern Europe but far beyond those borders, to understand the very real threat that Vladimir Putin poses, and then to begin imposing sanctions that will ratchet up. I think that is exactly what he should be doing.”