Exclusive: Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was “taking China’s position” on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In an interview with Fox News Digital on Friday, the South Carolina congressman and military veteran said about DeSantis and the former president, who will announce his bid for the White House, the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. I was asked if I was concerned. Donald Trump already has — both are more skeptical about the current level of US aid to Ukraine than more established members of their party.
“Governor DeSantis, whom I respect, basically takes the Chinese position when it comes to Russian aggression,” Graham said.
“China calls this a territorial dispute. This is not a territorial dispute. This is an invasion of sovereign democracy. [Vladimir Putin’s] Russia has a barbaric nature. ”
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He added that DeSantis “has a lot to be proud of as governor,” but that he’s inviting “any Republican who follows Biden’s path in trying to undermine in the face of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.” I think,’ he said. more aggressive. ”
Of Trump, who already has an endorsement in 2024, Graham said, “If he were president again, I really believe Putin wouldn’t have invaded under his watch, but I would say to President Trump, You haven’t looked very closely at the link between China’s pursuit of Taiwan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
DeSantis, responding to a survey by Tucker Carlson, said that “further entanglement in territorial disputes between Ukraine and Russia” was not “essential” to US interests. “Without clear purpose or accountability, the Biden administration’s de facto ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict ‘as needed’ diverts attention from our country’s most pressing challenges,” he said. claimed.
He also accused President Joe Biden of “forcing Russia into a de facto alliance with China” and bolstered “Putin’s war machine” with his renewable energy policy.Fox News Digital of DeSantis We have reached out to the office for comment.
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Beijing has not taken an open stance against Ukraine. But the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin has set off alarms among the international community amid fears that China might start arming Russia.
In the U.S., within the Republican Party, those who are increasingly tired of seeing the federal government send billions of dollars in foreign aid and helping Ukraine stave off Russia’s illegal aggression are essential to maintaining There is a rift between the party’s more established members who claim to be international stability.
Graham, the most vocal congressional speaker in favor of more aid to Kiev, said it was the US duty to “expose” Xi and Putin ahead of their next meeting.
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“China is a communist dictatorship. Putin is one of the most notorious foreign criminals of the 21st century,” Graham said. “If you throw Iran in there, it’s an axis of evil.”
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“But what I would do is pressure China not to support Russia militarily because that would extend to war. And I would view Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. , making it more difficult for China to help Russia.”
Graham went one step further early in the interview, pledging to “suspend normal business” until Russia is designated a terrorist state in light of Putin’s recent war crimes accusations by the International Criminal Court.
“I will do everything in my power to stop normal business on the floor of the Senate and emphasize that we must label … Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law,” the senator said. . “That would make Putin’s Russian state radioactive — more than it does today. It would put him in the category of… Iran, Syria, North Korea.”