Trump spoke. Will Republicans follow him on Russia?
A version of this story appeared in CNN's What Matters newsletter. (CNN) Former President Donald Trump has signaled to Republicans that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "genius" for invading Ukraine . Will the party's lawmakers back President Joe Biden as he stands up to Putin? Or, as the majority did with a collective amnesia on the January 6 insurrection, will they retreat on promised sanctions and support for Ukraine? They used to recognize that even modern Russia is a threat to the US. "I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, 'This is genius. He then suggested it would be nice to have a "peace force" like the Russian military to be stationed on the US border with Mexico -- a supremely flawed comparison since Trump wants to secure the border, whereas Putin appears to be set on claiming new territory. Trump's secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, called Putin "a very talented statesman"who has "lots of gifts" in a Fox interview .
"As an American, what's in this for me and my neighbors and the rest of us? And all I'm getting is that we can feel morally satisfied because we hate Putin," Tucker Carlson said on Fox on Tuesday. "'America First' means not listening to the same people who have blundered us into disaster after disaster on the world stage," Vance said on Twitter on Wednesday It just so happens that Putin's main goal of halting the expansion of NATO is exactly in line with Hawley's letter. Putin wants to beat NATO back to its Cold War membership and undermine European unity. Trump groused about NATO throughout his presidency, and frequently misrepresented NATO's requirement that member nations spend 2% of their GDP on defense. At news of the drawdown of US troops in Europe, CNN's Nic Robertson wrote in August 2020 thatit could be Trump's "last gift to Putin before the election. Trump did place sanctions on Russia while he was President, but only after Congress essentially made him do it
A bipartisan sanctions bill failed to pass before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, but Republicans have been working with Democrats on the issue. They even released their own GOP-only proposal for tough sanctions when the bipartisan talks hit snags last week. "It is good to see President Biden do the right thing," Sen. McConnell argues Putin built up troops on the Ukraine border only after Biden withdrew the US from Afghanistan. A new AP-NORC poll, released Wednesday and conducted as the Ukraine standoff grew more tense, suggests about half of Americans think the US should play only a minor role in the situation. Republican attacks on Democrats for veering toward socialism have now lasted much longer than the Soviet Union .
Read full article at CNN