Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan accused Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida of using “Kremlin” talking points and downplaying Russia’s “illegal” invasion of Ukraine.
“I am not an expert on geopolitics, but I will say this, I think it is really dangerous when politicians are using language that is coming out of the Kremlin,” Whitmer said in a clip of an interview with MSNBC host Jen Psaki that played Friday. “There’s no question that calling it a territorial dispute is to undermine and downplay the Russian invasion, the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine. And a state that has such a robust Ukrainian population, it is offensive, maddening and I think is really dangerous for our national security.”
Whitmer’s comments came shortly after DeSantis answered questions about the war in Ukraine posed by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a co-founder of the Daily Caller News Foundation. Former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Republican Govs. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Greg Abbott of Texas also responded to Carlson’s questions, while former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley answered Carlson’s questions via a release Tuesday.
“While the U.S. has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis said, according to Carlson. “The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes,’ without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges.”
Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24, launching a massive attack across the latter country. The United States has sent over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine, and announced in January it would send 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks following a December announcement that a battery of MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missiles would be provided to that country.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday on war crimes charges stemming from the alleged trafficking of Ukrainian children.
DeSantis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.