How Republicans are responding to Russia’s war on Ukraine : NPR

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday criticized the sanctions the Biden administration introduced in opposition to Russia as too little, too late.

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Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday criticized the sanctions the Biden administration introduced in opposition to Russia as too little, too late.

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Republicans have largely condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin within the wake of his invasion of Ukraine, and lots of have additionally criticized President Biden’s responding sanctions as inadequate.

Nevertheless, the GOP has not reached full consensus on the Kremlin’s actions, with former President Donald Trump remaining an outlier within the get together he ostensibly leads.

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., attacked Biden on Thursday, telling reporters that the lethal U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan final 12 months had been “an invite to the autocrats of the world that perhaps this was a great time to make a transfer,” as WFPL’s Ryan Van Velzer reported.

An array of Republicans, together with McConnell, additionally criticized the sanctions Biden has introduced in response to Russia’s aggression as too little, too late.

There had been bipartisan power in Congress for a package deal billed as “the mom of all sanctions.” Whereas talks over that invoice fell aside six days in the past, that power stays.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who had been one lawmaker main the push for extra sanctions, on Thursday reiterated his help for additional motion.

“As we search to impose most prices on Putin, there may be extra that we are able to and may do,” he stated in an announcement.

GOP focuses on different matters at CPAC

In the meantime, on the primary day of CPAC, the Conservative Political Motion Convention, Republican politicians have been muted of their response to Russia and Ukraine.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, thought of a robust potential challenger to Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination, did not point out Ukraine or Russia in his speech on Thursday, selecting to give attention to main GOP tradition struggle points like COVID coverage and educating about race in public colleges.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on the Conservative Political Motion Convention in Orlando on Thursday.

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Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who has occasions deliberate in early presidential states New Hampshire and Iowa, additionally solely briefly touched on Ukraine and Russia in her remarks.

In the meantime, Trump’s responses to Russian aggression to this point have been equally crucial of Biden — but in addition pleasant to Putin. On a conservative radio present on Tuesday, he praised the Russian chief’s actions in recognizing the independence of separatist-controlled areas as “savvy” and “genius.” And footage from a Wednesday fundraiser in Florida confirmed Trump calling Putin “sensible” for invading Ukraine “for $2 value of sanctions.”

Trump was pleasant to Putin all through his presidency. At one infamous 2018 press convention with Putin, Trump referred to as the Russian chief’s denials of 2016 election interference “sturdy and highly effective.”

Danielle Pletka, distinguished senior fellow in international and protection coverage research on the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, agreed that earlier and extra forceful sanctions from Biden would have been extra helpful in deterring Putin.

She additionally famous that international coverage ideologies do not at all times break down neatly alongside get together strains — neither main get together, she identified, is made up totally of both isolationists or interventionists.

On the subject of Trump, nonetheless, he occupies a separate ideology, ruled largely by self-interest.

“I have not parsed his somewhat-confusing statements, each condemning and on the similar time admiring and on the similar time deploring what has occurred,” Pletka stated. “However no shock Trump sees this by means of the prism of his personal ego and his personal energy, a lot much less by means of the prism of a geopolitical technique and even American power and safety.”

Trump is about to talk at CPAC on Saturday night time, in a speech certain to be carefully watched for any feedback on the state of affairs in Ukraine.

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