Donald Trump says he could settle Ukraine war in 'one day'

Donald Trump attends the Conservative Political Action Conference - Reuters
Donald Trump attends the Conservative Political Action Conference - Reuters
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Donald Trump on Saturday night said he must be elected US President again in 2024 if a Third World War was to be avoided.

Mr Trump also vowed that he and his supporters would "never go back" to a Republican Party run by "freaks and fools" who had engaged in "endless foreign wars".

The former president said America should stop spending billions of dollars on defending Ukraine, that he would end the war in "one day" if elected, and demanded that Nato allies pay more toward the cost of the conflict.

Mr Trump also told supporters that if any of them felt wronged then, in a second term, "I am your retribution".

He said Joe Biden was leading the US into "oblivion" and 2024 would be the "final battle".

In a marathon speech lasting one hour and 45 minutes at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Mr Trump avoided repeating his previous claims that the 2020 election was "stolen".

He did not attack, or even name, rivals for the Republican nomination in 2024, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis, instead laying out some of what he would do if elected.

Mr Trump said: "We're going to have World War III if something doesn't happen fast. I am the only candidate who can make this promise - I will prevent World War III."

He added: "We had a Republican Party that was ruled by freaks, neo-cons, globalists, open borders zealots and fools. But we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush."

Mr Trump spoke to a packed auditorium at a conference centre in Maryland, just outside Washington.

Mr Trump said he could prevent a Third World War - Reuters
Mr Trump said he could prevent a Third World War - Reuters

He received a rapturous reception and was interrupted by chants of "Four more years".

CPAC has traditionally been an event where all senior Republican figures, including potential presidential nominees, would speak.

However, it has become dominated by Mr Trump and his supporters, and this year was nicknamed "MAGApalooza" or "TPAC".

Mr DeSantis and former vice president Mike Pence chose to speak at another event in Florida instead.

Mr Trump told the crowd: "We are going to finish what we started. We’re going to complete the mission. We’re going to see this battle through to ultimate victory.

"This [2024] is the final battle. I know it, you know it, they know it, everybody knows it. This is it. And if they win, we don't have a country."

He added: "In 2016, I declared 'I am your voice'. Today, I add: 'I am your warrior. I am your justice'. And, for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.

"I will totally obliterate the deep state. I will fire the unelected bureaucrats and shadow forces who have weaponised our justice system. And I will put the people back in charge of this country again."

Mr Trump said "top of my list" if elected would be "stopping the slide into costly and never-ending wars."

He said: "You can't keep spending hundreds of billions of dollars protecting people that don't even like us.

"In business, if you did that, what you do is put up the money and then you say 'We want half the country in case you win'."

He added: "Before I even arrive in the Oval Office I will have the disastrous war between Russia and Ukraine settled. It will be settled quickly.

"I will get the problem solved, it will take me no longer than one day.

"We are never going to go back to a party that wants to give unlimited money to fight foreign wars, that are endless wars.

"Our soldiers [veterans], we do nothing for them, they sleep out in the cold and freeze."

Supporters react as Mr Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference - Reuters
Supporters react as Mr Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference - Reuters

Mr Trump added: "You look at Ukraine, and we all feel very bad, but why isn't Nato putting up dollar for dollar with us?"

He also accused Mr Biden of being a "criminal" and said that, if elected, he would "drive out the globalists, and cast out the communists," and "expel the warmongers".

The former president went on to say that he would "keep men out of women's sports".

He added: "I will revoke every Biden policy promoting the chemical castration and sexual mutualisation of our youth.

"And I will ask Congress to send me a bill prohibiting child sexual mutilation in all 50 states."

In a short reference to elections he called for them to be held on a single day with only paper ballots.

But he said Republicans had to "change our thinking" from 2020 and use all methods to vote that were available.

He said: "Republicans must compete using every lawful means to win. That means swamping the left with mail-in votes, early votes and election day votes."

Mr Trump easily won the annual CPAC straw poll, which in the past has been seen as a measure of support among party activists. More than 2,000 people at CPAC took part in the survey.

Asked who the 2024 Republican nominee should be, 62 per cent said Mr Trump, and 20 per cent said Mr DeSantis.

The survey showed 95 per cent approved of the job Mr Trump did when he was president.

When asked who his running mate should be in 2024 the top choice was Kari Lake, the former TV anchor and Arizona gubernatorial candidate, on 20 per cent. She was followed by Mr DeSantis on 14 per cent.

The poll also showed that 79 per cent disapproved of "giving billions to Ukraine," and of those 61 per cent "strongly disapproved".

During the three-day conference supporters of the former president donned "Trumpinator" T-shirts and "Trump Won" hats.

Nikki Haley, the only major candidate to have declared her run against Mr Trump in 2024, faced chants of "Trump, Trump" as she walked through the venue.

Nikki Haley - RSSIL/MEGA
Nikki Haley - RSSIL/MEGA

One merchandise seller said Trump hats were outselling DeSantis caps by 50-to-one.

Also on sale were giant edible Trump gingerbread men, Trump cowboy hats, Trump purses, and T-shirts depicting Mr Trump as Superman.

Supporters lined up to have their photographs taken in a mocked up Oval Office, behind a replica of the Resolute Desk.

Among the issues being discussed at this year's event was climate change. Morgan Chrisman, 24, representing Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends, said China should be held accountable.

She said: "The environmental cause has been very much driven by the left for pretty much the entire time, and that has alienated a lot of young people, and made them think that the GOP doesn't have solutions for that.

"We think that there are capitalism-first, market-based solutions that are far more effective than the solutions being put forth by the left, but do not compromise on conservative values."

Meanwhile, Mr Trump put forward a plan to hold a contest to create up to 10 new “Freedom Cities," which would be built on government land.

It would include investment in "vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles" - flying cars - for families.

Some compared the idea to The Jetsons, the fictional cartoon family who lived in Orbit City.

The plan would also include "baby bonuses" to encourage a new baby boom, and the cities would become "hives of industry" as the US became less reliant on Chinese imports.

Mr Trump said it would "reopen the frontier" and lead to a "quantum leap in American living standards".