donald trump and john daly

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Trump tells famed golfer that Putin didn’t invade Ukraine when he was in office because they’re friends, video shows

He also said he pledged to nuke Moscow.


Claire Goforth


Posted on Mar 4, 2022   Updated on Mar 7, 2022, 1:45 pm CST

Former President Donald Trump was recently allegedly recorded claiming that Russia wouldn’t have attacked Ukraine when he was president because of his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and because he threatened to attack Moscow.

Trump’s relationship with the Russian dictator has been a sore subject since his first campaign. Though Trump denied working with the Russians, significant reporting and investigations have confirmed that the Kremlin worked to help him get elected.

Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in an apparent attempt to seize control of the country. Trump seems to believe that he alone stood in Putin’s way when he was president.

The viral clip was first posted on Instagram Friday afternoon by No Pops Golf. In it, Trump is on speakerphone telling golfer John Daly that he and Putin were “friends.” There are at least three others in the room, two of whom are recording the conversation.

Trump began by mocking people for being “afraid” of Putin because Russia is a nuclear power. Then he segued to their close personal relationship.

“You know he was a friend of mine,” Trump said. “I got along great with him.”

Trump claimed that Putin was kept to heel by his threat to attack the Russian capital.

“I say, ‘Vladimir, if you do it, we’re hitting Moscow.” The “it” presumably refers to attacking Ukraine. Putin has backed a separatist rebellion in Ukraine since before Trump was president.

Putin “sort of believed” Trump, he says, “like 5%, 10%.”

“That’s all you need,” he said.

“He never did it during my time,” Trump boasted, adding that Putin didn’t invade Ukraine during his presidency “because he knew he couldn’t.”

Daly agreed and claimed that he similarly kept China President Xi Jinping in line. China was accused of human rights violations, including genocide, of the Uighur people throughout Trump’s presidency. His former national security advisor John Bolton claimed in his memoir that Trump approved of Xi building concentration camps for the Uighurs, saying it was “exactly the right thing to do.”

“Xi didn’t bother me,” Trump agreed with Daly, “I told him the same thing.”

Continuing, he predicted that China will invade Taiwan. “You won’t have any computer chips,” Trump said, “They’ll blow them off the face of the Earth.”

The recording swiftly went viral.

Some were incredulous. “Never happened,” one person commented on No Pops Golf’s post.

Many of the comments were mocking.

“The best writers in all of creation couldn’t make this shit up,” a Twitter user opined.

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*First Published: Mar 4, 2022, 4:27 pm CST