Huckabee on Trump Threatening to Cancel Putin Meeting: 'Toughness' Is All Russian Leader Understands
This is no time to 'be nice,' former Ark. governor says.
Mike Huckabee said President Trump is "dead serious" with his threat to cancel an upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid fresh tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
On Sunday, Russian border guards fired upon three Ukrainian ships and captured 24 of their men as they were sailing through the Kerch Strait, near Crimea, which is the only outlet for Ukrainian vessels to the Black Sea.
"Maybe I won't have the meeting," Trump said after the act of aggression, according to The Washington Post. "Maybe I won’t even have the meeting. ... I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all.”
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and a Fox News contributor, noted that Trump employed a similar strategy with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which Huckabee credited for helping change the regime's "attitude."
"I think the threat of the cancellation may change at least some things with Putin and Russia," Huckabee said.
He added that Trump needs to take this tough stance toward Putin, because toughness is all the Russian leader understands.
"There's nothing else he respects," Huckabee stated.
Later on the show, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Trump should cancel the meeting, but if it does happen, Trump must be careful not to appear as Putin's "friend."
"The last direct meeting with Putin didn't go too well," he recalled, referring to the July Helsinki summit when Trump was criticized for casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.