10 Times the GOP Has Been Pro-Putin or Anti-Ukraine

Yesterday, several House Republicans voted against legislation to investigate war crimes in Ukraine. It’s been evident for weeks that the Republican Party has a growing pro-Putin, anti-Ukraine wing, so we decided to compile a list of ways Republicans have undermined America’s response to Putin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. 

1. Yesterday, in a stunning display of callousness, members of Kevin McCarthy’s House Republican caucus voted against investigating war crimes in Ukraine.

Insider: “6 GOP House members opposed a bill meant to document and preserve evidence of war crimes during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”

Newsweek: “The motion, called the Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act, has the goal to ‘collect, analyze, and preserve evidence and information related to war crimes and any other atrocities’ committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine. The bill passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, with 418 voting in favor and only the seven Republicans voting against.”

2. The vast majority of Senate Republicans voted against billions of dollars in military aid to arm Ukrainians literally fighting for their lives. 

Washington Post: “More than two dozen Senate Republicans demand Biden do more for Ukraine after voting against $13.6 billion for Ukraine”

The Hill: “All of the 31 ‘no’ votes came from Republicans.”

3. Donald Trump has spent the last month and a half heaping praise on Putin, who launched an unprovoked attack that has killed and displaced millions of innocent Ukrainians. 

Politico: “Trump calls Putin ‘genius’ and ‘savvy’ for Ukraine invasion”

Insider: “Trump again praised ‘smart’ Putin amid Ukraine invasion and said the US had become a ‘stupid country’”

MSNBC: “Even now, Trump continues to praise Putin’s ‘intelligence’”

Rolling Stone: “Trump Refuses to Condemn Putin Despite Sean Hannity Practically Begging Him To”

4. Meanwhile, Republican leaders have repeatedly refused to condemn Trump’s vile praise of a likely war criminal. 

Washington Post Opinion: “Amid Trump’s current praise of Putin, his refusal to address the invasion with moral clarity, and even his call for Putin to find dirt on President Biden’s son Hunter, Republicans still seem to have felt little serious political heat. Yes, some Republicans have faced media pressure to narrowly condemn such moments. But they don’t seem to feel any obligation to fundamentally renounce Trump’s broader posture.”

ABC News: “GOP Sen. Tom Cotton won’t condemn Trump’s praise of Putin”

NBC News: “Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, has called for Putin to be assassinated and introduced a resolution this month accusing the Russian president of war crimes. But rather than reprimanding Trump for calling Putin ‘a genius,’ Graham cast the remark as ‘a mistake.’”

CBS News’s Robert Costa: “Should Trump condemn the Russian invasion when he speaks at CPAC tonight? Even out of power, he remains a central figure in many GOP races nationwide. @CBSNews⁩ asked Sen. Rick Scott, head of Sen Rs’ campaign arm. ‘We all’ should. Trump? ‘That’s a decision’ for him.”

Kristi Noem: “Q: Do you endorse Trump’s comments on Putin? NOEM: “I don’t think Putin is a dummy. He certainly is a man who has been strategically planning this for years, waiting for an opportunity. President Biden kicked the door open for him…”

5. And let’s not forget how Republican lawmakers offered a full-throated defense of Donald Trump’s attempt to extort President Zelenskyy and withhold military aid from Ukraine in 2019. 

Senator Lindsey Graham in 2019: “I have zero problems with this phone call. There’s no quid pro quo here.”

Senator Mike Rounds in 2019: “This type of diplomacy is hard to watch but nonetheless has existed and hardly rises to an impeachable offense.” 

Representative Jim Jordan in 2019: “We’re talking Ukraine…one of the three most corrupt countries on the planet.”

Representative Steve Scalise in 2019: “It’s now clear: There was no quid pro quo. [Trump] didn’t break any laws.”

Senator Mitch McConnell in 2019: “It’s clear there is no quid pro quo that the Democrats were desperately praying for.”

Senator Tom Cotton in 2019: “What’s apparent is there is no quid pro quo that the president asked for anything in return for U.S. aid to Ukraine. It was a fairly straightforward, diplomatic conversation.”

Senator John Cornyn in 2019: “I don’t think asking another country to do an investigation into corruption concerns is objectionable.”

Senator Ted Cruz in 2019: “A president is always justified, and in fact has a responsibility, to investigate credible accusations of corruption.”

Representative Matt Gaetz in 2019: “The bottom line here is that in this transcript there is no quid pro quo, there is no improper leverage and the overall tone of this transcript is that it is mutual laudatory.”

Senator Pat Toomey in 2019: “Reveals no quid pro quo… does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.”

6. Senate Republicans have also blocked the confirmation of key Biden administration officials who would play critical roles in our Ukraine response.

Foreign Policy: “Republican Senators Block Confirmation of Key Biden Officials, Stymying Ukraine Response”

Sen. Chris Murphy: “Every day Republicans find new ways to make it as hard as possible for the United States to help Ukraine. Senate Republicans just blocked the confirmation of Biden’s nominee to oversee DoD logistics – in other words, the transfer of weapons to Ukraine.”

7. Kevin McCarthy has so totally lost control of his caucus that nearly a third of House Republicans voted against a resolution that reaffirmed our support for NATO. 

MSNBC: “Dozens of House Republicans balk at resolution supporting NATO”

CNN’s Manu Raju: “63 Rs voted NO on a non-binding resolution reaffirming ‘unequivocal support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as an alliance founded on democratic principles’ and calling on Biden to push to establish a ‘center for democratic resilience’ at NATO.”

Washington Post: “The ‘no’ votes comprised more than 30 percent of the party’s conference.”

8. Madison Cawthorn faced far more backlash from Kevin McCarthy for spreading lies about his own colleagues than he did for calling the Ukrainian government “evil” and President Zelenskyy a “thug.” 

USA Today: “N.C. Rep. Madison Cawthorn: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a ‘thug’”

WRAL: “Madison Cawthorn calls Ukraine government ‘evil,’ Zelenskyy ‘a thug’”

9. Marjorie Taylor Green attended a white nationalist rally where attendees cheered for Putin and blamed Ukraine for Putin’s unprovoked attack – all swept under the rug by Kevin McCarthy. 

Associated Press: “GOP torn as Greene speaks to far right amid ‘Putin!’ chants”

Heartland Signal: “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) blames Ukraine for being invaded: ‘You see Ukraine just kept poking the bear, poking the bear, which is Russia, and Russia invaded. And the hard truth is … there is no win for Ukraine here. Russia is being very successful in their invasion.’”

10. While innocent Ukrainians endure Russian bombs and missiles, Rand Paul undermined U.S. assistance to Ukraine by delaying the revocation of normal trade relations with Russia.

Politico: “The idiosyncratic GOP senator is undermining his own party’s message by single-handedly delaying a revocation of normal trade relations with Russia, thereby slowing efforts to further incapacitate Russia’s economy.” 

Politico: “The GOP drumbeat of criticism casting Biden as slow and ineffective raged for weeks, and now a member of their own party is getting in the way of one of the few meaningful actions Congress can take in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”