Top Republican says Russia wouldn't have invaded Ukraine under Trump, as foes 'feared him'

Trump "is very unpredictable," said Rep. Michael McCaul. "I remember him telling a story about President Xi and if he invaded Taiwan he was going to bomb them, and I think that unpredictability actually played to his advantage."

Updated: March 2, 2022 - 10:37pm

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Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Just the News that "our adversaries feared President Trump," who projected strength, while President Biden "looks weak" on the world stage.

McCaul said that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if Trump was still in office.

"This president projects weakness, and Putin's been looking at Ukraine, the breadbasket of Russia, for many years, but he needed the right time to do it," McCaul said on Capitol Hill. "Same thing with President Xi in China. Communist China's been looking at Taiwan. I'm worried that's going to be the next shoe to drop. I think the one thing that Trump projected was strength, and if you didn't respect him, you feared him, because you didn't know what he was going to do.

"He's very unpredictable. I remember him telling a story about President Xi and if he invaded Taiwan he was going to bomb them, you know, and I think that unpredictability actually played to his advantage. I think they look at Biden after Afghanistan, and they just see weakness and a weak president, and they've made the calculus now's the right time." 

McCaul related what former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told him regarding foreign policy.

"Rice told me either you want them to like you, but if they don't like you, you want them to respect you," he recalled. "If they don't respect you, you want them to fear you, and our adversaries feared President Trump." 

Just the News asked McCaul to describe the number one foreign policy danger that keeps him up at night.

"If he [Putin] carries through on his threat with nuclear weapons, Putin, that would be a nightmare scenario, let's hope that doesn't happen," he replied.

McCaul went on to cite two additional dangers beyond nuclear conflict.

"If [Putin] invades a NATO power, that would mean triggering Article 5 potentially," he said, referring to the alliance's mutual defense obligation.

"Moving beyond that, Taiwan is certainly in Xi's sights," he added. He's invaded their airspace recently. They have ships around Taiwan."

McCaul predicted that there will be a "second wave" of Russia's invasion of Ukraine "that's not going to be quite so gentle to the civilian population."

"It's going to get ugly, and a hammer is going to come down, and they're going to use, you know, these bombs that suck the oxygen out of the air and light your lungs on fire," McCaul said in the interview. "It's really bad stuff that they're bringing in. There's a 3-mile line of tanks getting ready to invade Ukraine right now, so we haven't seen half of it yet. And I'm afraid you're going to see some pretty ugly images."