Where Things Stand: Trump Was Asked About Ukraine. In Response, He Yelled About Windmills

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: Former U.S. President Donald Trump drinks from a bottle as he gives a speech during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at The Rosen Shingle Creek on February 26, 2022... ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: Former U.S. President Donald Trump drinks from a bottle as he gives a speech during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at The Rosen Shingle Creek on February 26, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. CPAC, which began in 1974, is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS

We know the former president has a lot of enemies — both political and inanimate.

Trump sat down for an hour-long interview with the “Full Send” podcast, a Canadian-based program run by the founders of an entertainment group called the Nelk Boys, who are, I guess, known for their prank videos and YouTube channel vlogs that center on America’s college culture and frat parties. It’s a confusing platform for the former president to engage with but he’s done weirder things. And the podcast hosts have invited some far-right figures onto their show over the years, including guests like Donald Trump Jr. and Candace Owens.

During the conversation, Trump declared that President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine would’ve “never happened” on his watch before suggesting that him and Putin “did talk about it” when he was president.

“He definitely wanted Ukraine, loved Ukraine, would never have happened,” he said.

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The podcast host Kyle Forgeard then asked Trump what he thought about the future of Russia’s war on the country: “How does this all end? Is this going to be, like, a long-term thing? How do you see it unfolding?” Forgeard asked.

“Well, and I said this a long time ago, if this happens, we are playing right into their hands,” Trump said in his characteristically cryptic fashion. It was not immediately clear who “we” are or what “this” is or whose hands someone is “playing right into.”

He then started talking about “green energy” and the monologue quickly zeroed in on a particular pet peeve.

“Green energy. The windmills,” he said, skipping literally not one beat. “They don’t work. They’re too expensive. They kill all the birds. They ruin your landscapes. And yet the environmentalists love the windmills. And I’ve been preaching this for years. The windmills. And I had them way down. But the windmills are the most expensive energy you can have. And they don’t work. And by the way, they last a period of 10 years and by the time they start rusting and rotting all over the place, nobody ever takes them down. They just go on to the next piece of prairie or land and destroy that.”

Let me try to cobble that together into some sort of logical thought pattern.

President Biden did announce this week that the U.S. will ban imports of Russian oil as part of its ongoing sanctions against Putin as the country continues its invasion of Ukraine. Gas prices in the U.S. have increased in recent months as well. So that may be part of Trump’s logic leap.

Trump may also have been inspired by a popular conservative talking point that has predictably found a home at, among other places, Fox News. In case you missed it, like me, apparently some people in the right-wing media have been pushing a baseless conspiracy theory in recent days that suggests Democrats are capitalizing on the unfolding disaster in Ukraine to further some long-planned scheme to shove alternative energy sources down the throats of Americans by increasing gas prices. In February, Fox News host Tucker Carlson argued that Biden was engaging in conflict with Russia in order to force Americans to depend less on fossil fuels and accept clean energy sources as the norm.

So maybe that’s where he was headed here. But also, Trump is one of those obsessive fixation guys. And he has a laughably, well-documented hatred of windmills.

He first started talking about windmills with utter disgust back in 2006 when he purchased some land in Scotland to build his fancy golf course resort, now called the Trump International Golf Links, Scotland. He got very fired up about the Scottish government’s plans at the time to construct a series of wind turbines along the Scotland coast, as CNN noted here. Trump was against the measure because he wanted to “see the ocean,” not windmills.

“I am an expert on tourism,” Trump reportedly told the Scottish Parliament in 2012 when it was debating the coastline construction project. “If you dot your landscape with these horrible, horrible structures, you will do tremendous damage. … Many countries have decided they don’t want wind, because it doesn’t work without massive subsidies, it kills massive amounts of birds and wildlife, and there are lots of other reasons.”

The windmills were eventually built in 2018, per the Washington Post.

By that time, Trump had taken his wind energy ire all the way to the White House. In 2019, he suggested that the “noise” of windmills “causes cancer” and continued with this fatalistic defense of birds, an issue seemingly close to his heart.

“I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much,” Trump said at the time. “They’re noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday. You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen in your life.”

So there you have it. Thank you for embarking on this journey with me.

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