- Stephanie Grisham said the former president feared and admired Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Appearing on “The View,” the former White House press secretary said Trump “loved the dictators.”
- Grisham added that Trump also “wanted to be able to kill whoever spoke out against him.”
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump both feared and admired Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Honestly, I think he feared him. I think he was afraid of him. I think the man intimidated him,” Grisham said during an appearance on “The View,” when asked about Trump’s impression of Putin.
“I also think he admired him greatly,” Grisham said. “I think he wanted to be able to kill whoever spoke out against him.”
“In my experience with him, again, I’ll just say — he loved the dictators. He loved the people who could kill anyone, including the press,” she added. In 2017, The Washington Post reported on 10 vocal critics of Putin who had died violently or under suspicious circumstances.
Grisham also slammed Trump, positing that he would be hiding instead of fighting for his country if he were in a similar situation as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Ukrainian leader has won widespread admiration for his decision to remain in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, as well as his bold speeches directed at Putin and Moscow.
“I just want to say this. In watching all of this, with Zelenskyy — Donald Trump would be 57 feet below ground hiding. And Zelenskyy is out there fighting for his country, and I just think that’s great,” Grisham said.
Grisham is one of the dozens of former Trump officials looking to thwart their former boss during the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race.
Trump previously lauded Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine as “savvy” and “genius.” On February 24, the day before Russia invaded Ukraine, he released a statement on Twitter — via his spokeswoman Liz Harrington — claiming that Putin was “playing [President Joe] Biden like a drum.”
Trump also praised other authoritarian leaders, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, during his time in office.