Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) called out President Joe Biden’s administration during a Sunday morning interview on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that the sanctions western nations had imposed on Russia thus far were “riddled with loopholes.”
Cotton spoke with anchor George Stephanopoulos about President Biden’s response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, arguing that the United States and other allies needed to step up with harsher sanctions immediately.
“Vladimir Putin controls 100% of the banks in Russia. He can use the other 20% to finance his war machine. It’s time to remove all Russian institutions from the international payment system. It’s time to impose sanctions on oil and gas exports. We need to rush those weapons that were announced for delivery yesterday to the front. Anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles, sniper rifles, ammunition. It should have been done weeks ago,” Cotton said.
“It’s time for the president to quit pussy-footing around. The financial sanctions are riddled with loopholes.”
Stephanopoulos pointed to the news that Putin had raised the threat status of his nuclear deterrent forces, and asked Cotton whether he believed others were right to question Putin’s mental state.
“I’m not going to play psychologist. What Vladimir Putin said is not a surprise,” Cotton replied, saying that Putin had been signaling his intent to make such a move for months, if not longer.
“That’s why I’ve been urging this administration to take the threat from Vladimir Putin seriously, to impose sanctions weeks and months ago, to send weapons to Ukraine weeks ago,” Cotton continued. “Ms. Psaki said we made the mistake of seeing Vladimir Putin of seeing the world through global norms. I never made that mistake. I’ve seen him as a ruthless dictator. He took the ambitions he’s always had and went for the jugular. Thankfully brave Ukrainian people are fighting back and every day they hold out they continue to stiffen the spines of leaders in the west. We need to urge them on and continue providing them the weapons they need to fight back.”
Stephanopoulos noted that Cotton had always been highly suspicious and vocally critical of Putin, pivoting to compare that to comments made by former President Donald Trump.
“You’ve never made that mistake, it’s true,” he said. “That can’t be said of Donald Trump. He called him smart. Earlier in the week he called him savvy. He said NATO and the U.S. are dumb. Are you prepared to condemn that rhetoric from the leader of your party?”
“George, you heard what I had to say about Vladimir Putin. He’s a ruthless dictator who launched a war of aggression. Thankfully the Ukrainian army has anti-tank missiles that President Obama would not supply. That’s why it’s so urgent we continue to supply those weapons to Ukraine,” Cotton said, ignoring the question.
“Why can’t you condemn Donald Trump for those comments?” Stephanopoulos tried again.
“George, if you want to know what Donald Trump thinks about Vladimir Putin or any other topic I would encourage him to invite you on your show,” Cotton shot back, saying that he did not speak for other politicians.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.
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