Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer dismissed as “delusional” the Obama administration’s belief that Vladimir Putin has halted his advance in Ukraine, claiming the Russian president is “lying through his teeth.”
Krauthammer spoke with Fox News’ Bret Baier to discuss the Russian invasion of Crimean region in southern Ukraine. Many assumed Putin would follow up this action with a full-scale invasion of eastern Ukraine. But in a rambling press conference Tuesday, the Russian president indicated there may be no reason to further escalate the situation.
President Obama seized on the comments, saying he hopes Putin may at least take a “pause.” But not everybody is buying it.
“This is astonishing,” Krauthammer responded. “On the one hand they’re unable to muster — our leaders — to muster anything that the Europeans will join that will hurt Putin. And on the other hand you’re telling us that they are thinking that Putin thinks he made a mistake, did make a mistake and is looking for an ‘off-ramp.’ And our real job is to lap on sanctions or to push him out of Crimea, but to allow him some kind of diplomatic exit that will save the face.”
Baier asked whether Putin’s comments could be interpreted as “some kind of blink . . . sending the signal that he’s stepping back?”
“That’s not a blink!” Krauthammer retorted. “That’s a KGB agent lying through his teeth, which is what they train to do for all of their lives! I mean, when Hitler went into the Sudetenland, he claimed it was in response to a desire on the part of the population.”
“This is what all dictators do,” the columnist concluded. “The idea that somehow it’s a blink, because he’s waiting to see if he wants to take the rest of Ukraine, and that’s a sign of weakness? I think it’s delusional!”
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