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Donald Trump: 'Putin has eaten Obama's lunch' on Ukraine

March 13, 2014 at 9:47 AM ET

Video: Donald Trump tells TODAY that President Obama needs to exhibit strength in his dealings with Russia and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, adding that he hopes the commander in chief “doesn’t do something very foolish.”

Donald Trump slammed President Obama Thursday on TODAY for failing to take a stronger line against President Vladimir Putin in dealing with Ukraine, saying he feared Obama would now make up for lost time with imprudent moves to “show his manhood.”

The real estate mogul and reality-TV star, who has criticized Putin for sending military troops into Crimea, said Obama must now take fierce steps to prevent the situation from escalating further.

“We should definitely do sanctions and we have to show some strengths. I mean, Putin has eaten Obama’s lunch, therefore our lunch, for a long period of time,” Trump said. “I just hope that Obama, who’s not looking too good, doesn’t do something very foolish and very stupid to show his manhood.”

As owner of the Miss Universe Organization, Trump had dealings with Putin when his global beauty pageant was held in Moscow last year. Trump appeared on TODAY to announce that this year his other major beauty contest, the Miss USA competition, will be held in Baton Rouge, La.

Trump also addressed rumors on whether he plans to run for New York governor, saying he would make an announcement soon.

Although he’s thinking about entering the race, “it’s not high on my mind,” even though he said state Republican leaders have pleaded with him to run.

“They want me to run so badly, and I think I’d win, if you want to know the truth,” he said. But first, he wants the political party to clean up its act.

“The Republican party in New York is a mess. They haven’t won an election against the Democrats in many years and I said, 'If you unify the party, I will do it,'” he said.

Trump also said he would run only if state Republicans promise to back him as their only candidate so he won’t have to “waste a lot of time, effort and money” with a party primary.

“This is an election that can be won," he said, claiming that "New York has a lot of problems, including it has the highest taxes of any place in the United States and I think it can be won.”

TODAY.com contributing writer Eun Kyung Kim is based in Washington. Follow her on Google+ or on Twitter.

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