Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tried to clean up comments calling Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine a “territorial dispute” after being criticized for “isolationism” but praise from Fox News host Tucker Carlson .
‘Well, I think you’ve been misinterpreted. Obviously, Russia invaded, that was wrong. They invaded Crimea and took it in 2014. That was wrong,” DeSantis told Piers Morgan. In an interview more than a week after his initial comments.
He also launched a tough speech against Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him a “war criminal” and saying he should be “responsible” while disparaging Russia as “basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons” for a week when Putin huddled with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow.
He then laid out some of the territorial facts on the ground, as Russian forces and Russian mercenaries continue their relentless siege on the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
‘What I mean is where the fighting is happening now, which is the eastern border region of Donbas, and then Crimea, and you have a situation where Russia has had that. I don’t think legitimately, but they did,” she said. Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, prompting a series of sanctions by the US and its allies.
The comments came in the same interview in which he called Trump’s White House ‘drama’ and made ‘porn star’ comments that angered Trump, who on Wednesday promoted a DailyMail.com story where his former strategist Steve Bannon criticized DeSantis for taking a “weasel approach.”
‘Mischaracterized’: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Russia had no right to the territory it took from Ukraine and “should have made that more clear.” He tried to clean up comments provided in writing to influential broadcaster Tucker Carlson by calling the war a “territorial dispute.”
He then repeated one of Moscow’s declared war goals: the protection of ethnic Russians living inside Ukraine.
There are a lot of ethnic Russians there. So, that’s a tough fight and that’s what I was getting at and it’s not that I thought Russia was entitled to that, and if I should have made it more clear, I could have, but I think the bigger point is, it’s Well, Russia is not showing the ability to take over Ukraine, to overthrow the government, or certainly to threaten NATO,” he said.
‘That’s good. I just don’t think it’s enough interest for us to increase our participation. I would not like to see US troops involved there. But the idea that I think Russia was somehow justified, that’s nonsense,” he added.
He also spoke in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, while calling the shipment of “more weapons” a mistake, in a week when the Pentagon announced an additional $350 million in military aid for Ukraine, and said it would take steps to accelerate the shipment of M1A1 tanks this fall.
A damaged car near a residential building after being hit by a missile strike in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on March 22, 2023. DeSantis said Russia’s takeover of territory was not legitimate
Ukraine is seeking to bolster US air defenses and offensive capability with weapons amid relentless attacks from Russia.
DeSantis called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal
Tucker Carlson asked several presumed White House contenders, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, what they thought about US aid to Ukraine.
I think they have a right to that territory. If I could snap my fingers, I would 100% give it back to Ukraine. But the reality is what is the US stake in terms of scaling up with more weapons, and I certainly think ground troops would be a mistake. So, that was the point he was trying to make, but Russia was wrong to invade. They were wrong to take Crimea,’ DeSAntis said.
“Russia had no right to enter Crimea or go in February 2022 and that should be clear,” he said.
Last week, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who chairs the Armed Services Committee, appeared to rebuke DeSantis’ comments after two Russian fighters intercepted a US drone that was shot down over the Black Sea.
“This brazen act by Russian pilots against a US plane flying in international airspace makes it clear that Vladimir Putin is an adversary,” Wicker said. “This incident should serve as a wake-up call to isolationists in the United States that it is in our national interest to treat Putin for the threat that he really is.”
He continued: ‘Putin wants nothing more than incidents like these to turn the US away from our support for Ukraine and prevent us from reversing his destructive policies. We must choose to project force against our adversary, not appease this dictator with words or so-called ‘de-escalation’.
Former Vice President Mike Pence prompted the governor of Florida, a potential presidential rival to DeSantis, to say there was no room for ‘putin apologists in the Republican Party. “We support those who fight our enemies on their shores, so we don’t have to fight them ourselves.”
The Biden administration and Congress have set aside a staggering $113 billion in US taxpayer funds for Ukraine in a conflict with no end in sight.
DeSantis told Carlson, who has questioned a number of leading Republican Party presidential candidates, that Ukraine’s war against Russia is not a “vital national security interest” of the US, in comments calling the war as a “territorial dispute”.
The comments brought him closer to rival Donald Trump, who has long called for stronger relations with Russia and who, in his own response to Carlson, said Putin would never have invaded if he were in office.
He provided a written statement to Carlson for the host’s prime time show. Carlson read the positions out loud and praised DeSantis at the time.
“Until tonight, no one could say precisely where (DeSantis) stands on the war in Ukraine, which is arguably the most important issue in the world. And now we know that DeSantis is strongly opposed to the position that most Republicans in Washington have taken on Ukraine. DeSantis is not a neoconservative. Who knows?’ Carlson said on his show last week.
Ron DeSantis’ responses to Tucker Carlson’s questions about Ukraine and US aid.
While the US has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the readiness crisis within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and reining in the economic, cultural and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – further entanglement in a territorial territory. dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them. The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes’, with no defined goals or accountability, distracts attention from our country’s most pressing challenges.
Surely peace should be the goal. The United States should not provide assistance that would require the deployment of US troops or allow Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. So F-16s and long-range missiles should be off the table. These moves would risk drawing the United States explicitly into the conflict and bringing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable.
A ‘regime change’ policy in Russia (no doubt popular with DC foreign policy interventionists) would greatly increase the stakes of the conflict, making the use of nuclear weapons more likely. Such a policy would not stop the death and destruction of war, nor would it produce a pro-American Madisonian constitutionalist in the Kremlin. History indicates that Putin’s successor, in this hypothetical case, would likely be even more ruthless. The costs to achieve such a dubious result could become astronomical.
The Biden administration’s policies have brought Russia into a de facto alliance with China. Because China has not and will not comply with the embargo, Russia has increased its foreign income while China benefits from cheaper fuel. Along with his intentional depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and his support for the left’s Green New Deal, Biden has further strengthened Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at the expense of the Americans.
Our citizens also have a right to know how billions of US taxpayer dollars are used in Ukraine.
We cannot prioritize intervening in an escalating foreign war over defending our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans die each year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our critical weapons stockpiles. for our own safety they are running out fast.