Former President Donald Trump said his biggest worry now is where geopolitical tensions over Ukraine and Taiwan may be headed, saying that he thinks “we could end up in World War III” and that the conflict could go nuclear.
“More than anything else, I think we could end up in World War III,” the former president replied.
He said World War III could be sparked by "all of the horrible things that took place in Ukraine,” adding that it “looks like it’s going to happen in China with Taiwan ... you see what’s going on over there.”
Even though the United States ended formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 and switched recognition to Beijing under the “One China” policy, Washington maintains a robust unofficial relationship with Taipei and is legally bound to provide it with the arms necessary to defend itself.
Tensions in Ukraine, on the other hand, have taken a turn for the worse as Ukrainian forces launched a major counteroffensive, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to mobilize more troops and suggest in a speech on Sept. 21 that Moscow was prepared to use nuclear weapons in the conflict.
In his interview, Trump commented on Putin’s remarks and the nuclear threat.
“I think we’re at the most dangerous time maybe in many, many years—maybe ever—because of the power of nuclear,” Trump said.
“For a major nation that’s equal with us on nuclear power to be throwing around the word cavalierly, like nuclear, is a very bad time. A very bad time for this country and a very bad and a very dangerous time for the world,” Trump added.
Trump once again expressed the view that if he were still in the White House, Putin would not have ordered his troops into Ukraine.
“I got along with him very well. I spoke to him. I understood him,” Trump said of Putin. “He understood me, probably. But I understood him well, and he would have never done it.”