( – In a Fox News exclusive interview on Monday, former President Donald Trump claimed that he single-handedly delayed the Russian invasion of Ukraine for years by having a conversation with President Vladimir Putin.

During an interview with Bret Baier on “Special Report,” Trump said that when he spoke with Putin about the issues between Russia and Ukraine, he told the Russian president that there “would be hell to pay” if he invaded and that it would turn out to be a “catastrophe.”

When asked about his claims that he could end the war between the two states in 24 hours, the former president said he has “a very good relationship” with Putin, although he hasn’t spoken with him in a long time.

Trump stated that Putin would not have invaded “if it were me [in office],” pointing out that the invasion happened after he left. According to Trump, Putin didn’t believe Trump would take action until Trump emphasized to Putin that he “was going to do something.” He told Baier that Putin probably only believed about 10% of what Trump said, but that this was all that was needed to keep the invasion at bay.

Trump was also asked if he considered Ukraine to be a separate nation from Russia. Trump pointed out that although the two countries are now separate, this wasn’t always the case, and that the Russian president “liked it that way” when Ukraine was part of Russia.

In March, Trump’s number one challenger for the GOP nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, got into a bit of trouble by referring to the war as a “territorial dispute.” His positions on the matter are similar to Trump’s, though, believing the U.S. should not further involve itself in the conflict. DeSantis said he feared it could escalate into a world war.

Trump said he would tell Putin and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky something, get them into the same room together and tell them again, and negotiate a resolution “within 24 hours.” Making deals “is what I do,” the former president emphasized, stating it’s how he “became very rich.”

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