Former President Donald Trump criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping while also rejecting the idea that the United States should boycott the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, writes POLITICO.
In an extensive interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, Trump agreed with his host that the president of China is “a killer”, but said he wouldn’t encourage the U.S. to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of how it makes the country look.
“I watched Jimmy Carter do it, and it was terrible”, - said Trump, referring to the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. “Hurts the athletes. There are much more powerful things we can do that - much, much more powerful things. That’s not a powerful thing. It almost makes us look like, I don’t know, sore losers”.
The U.S.-led boycott in 1980 was in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In retaliation, the Soviet Union and its closest allies boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
The Biden administration announced earlier this month a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in response to reports of China’s persecution of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, along with other human rights abuses. This move still allows U.S. athletes to participate in the games, but no government officials will attend.
In regards to Xi, Trump said in the interview that he had a great relationship with the Chinese president while in office.
“I really believe he liked me, I like him”, - said Trump. - “He is a killer but I had a great relationship with him”.