WASHINGTON - Former president Donald Trump on Thursday suggested ending military aid to Ukraine would bring an end to the year-old war by encouraging negotiations that could be led by the United States.

Mr Trump made the bizarre claim during an interview with right-wing talk show host Hugh Hewitt for his eponymous radio programme when Mr Hewitt asked if the US should be sending Ukraine’s defence forces F-16 multirole fighters.

President Joe Biden has said the US would not be sending Kyiv the fighter jets. But rather than address the question he was asked, Mr Trump told Mr Hewitt the US should “negotiate peace” between Ukraine and the country that launched an unprovoked invasion on it last February.

“I don't think they should be sending very much, they should be negotiating peace,” he said.

Pressed further on whether he was explicitly calling for an end to American aid for Ukraine’s defence, Mr Trump replied: “I want to make it so that Ukraine and Russia have to fight and fight and fight for the last time ... we’ve got to make peace,” he said.

Mr Trump added that the war is “not going to stop” if the US continues to “just load something up”.

The twice-impeached ex-president’s bizarre claim comes just days after Mr Trump renewed his infamous statement of support for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin over America’s intelligence agencies.

Writing on his Truth Social platform, he wrote: “Remember in Helsinki when a 3rd rate reporter asked me, essentially, who I trusted more, President Putin of Russia, or our ‘Intelligence’ lowlifes[?]”

After rattling off a list of perceived enemies who had roles in the FBI probe into his 2016 campaign’s alleged ties to the Russian government, Mr Trump added: “Who would you choose, Putin or these Misfits?”


Trump takes aim at ‘gender insanity’

Donald Trump said he would seek legislation that only recognises two genders as he vowed go to war with “left-wing gender insanity” if he is re-elected. The Republican hopeful said he would push schools to “promote positive education about the nuclear family”, punish doctors offering gender reassignment care and bar transgender women from competing on women’s sports teams.

The former president said he’d forbid government agencies from promoting “the concept of sex and gender transition at any age”.