Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw sparred Wednesday with “Fox & Friends” host Rachel Campos-Duffy over the Republican Party’s view on to what extent the U.S. should get involved in Ukraine.
Crenshaw said providing military aid to Ukraine is difficult but can be done through “a matter of will.” He then pushed back against lawmakers who are repeating Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that such actions would “provoke him.”
“I don’t care what Putin says. I didn’t realize Putin was our national security adviser,” Crenshaw said. “And of course he’s going to bully you into not doing that. How do we not know his formula by now? He goes outside the bounds of norms, then he claims victimization when people react and then he uses that victimization to pursue more aggression. This is how Putin acts and we need to stop falling for it, I don’t care if it’s provocation.”
Campos-Duffy said that the Republican Party is divided on the administration’s involvement, arguing that anyone who claims the U.S. should remain cautious on aiding Ukraine are “Putin supporters or traitorous.” (RELATED: ‘Anonymous’ Hacks Russian Media, Posts Anti-Putin Ads)
“I don’t think it’s as evenly split as you make it seem on the Republican side,” Crenshaw pushed back. “I think it’s a very small minority that believes that we shouldn’t care about anything that goes on in the world.”
“That’s not what I said,” Campos-Duffy replied.
“I know, but that’s what a lot of people say and they do repeat Putin’s talking points,” the representative continued. “And that’s a problem.”
“I don’t think so,” the host replied.
Crenshaw argued these talking points give the left “something to latch onto” and is an inaccurate interpretation of the Republican Party’s viewpoints. He said alliances and global crises matter and it is “naive” to think that it does not impact the U.S.
“It is not America First to watch as Russia and China take over and destroy our allies,” the Texas representative said. “That’s America Last.”
“Congressman, I just want to make a point,” Campos-Duffy chimed in. “I appreciate your perspective, but since you did say that it’s repeating Russian talking points I’m just going to have to push back. I’m not repeating Russian talking points, and I think I represent the way a lot of the conservatives feel. I don’t think they’re repeating Russian talking points.”
“They’re not isolationists, they’re seeing, for example, the alignment of China and Russia because of the way this war was handled. I think they’re seeing a lot of things and I think on the Republican side saying they’re repeating Russian talking points shuts down conversations and does not allow us to have a robust debate which we should be having,” she continued.
Crenshaw said that calling Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” and claiming that aid is going to neo-Nazis is “repeating Russian talking points.”