Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg: Trump should negotiate with Putin over Ukraine

Kellogg said former president "understands negotiations, because you want somebody in there who's willing to walk away."

Updated: April 25, 2022 - 11:09pm

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Former President Donald Trump should be the chief negotiator in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over ending the invasion of Ukraine, retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg said Monday.

Kellogg, former National Security Council chief of staff under Trump, made the remark on the John Solomon Reports podcast when asked who should negotiate with Putin.

"What about Trump?" asked Kellogg, currently cochairman of the Center for American Security at America First Policy Institute. "You know, Trump's the art of the deal. He knows Putin, he could probably — they won't do it, by the way. I guarantee you that's not gonna happen. But I said, there's somebody who basically understands negotiations because you want somebody in there who's willing to walk away."

Kellogg recalled that Trump walked away from negotiations with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

"When we were in Hanoi, when we didn't get what we wanted, and we left ... lunch on the table and just walk out the door. And Kim Jong-un was shocked by that.

"But the president's always said, 'Unless we have a good deal, we're not gonna have a deal.' And he's willing to do that. If he did that with Kim Jong-un, he's probably willing to do that with anybody."

Kellogg also suggested that President of Finland Sauli Niinisto would be an ideal negotiator "because it's a nonaligned country, he knows Putin — has actually played hockey with Putin," while at the same time he's "friendly with the West."

French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett all tried to negotiate with Putin, but "that didn't work," Kellogg recalled.

"It's gonna have to be somebody or this is gonna be, again, like I said a minute ago, a feat of arms because you're not gonna get good negotiation going forward."