Rep. Van Drew to Newsmax: US Should Have Moved Quickly to Sanction Russia President Joe Biden. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Saturday, 05 February 2022 02:38 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin knows President Joe Biden and the Democrat-led Congress are weak, Rep. Jeff Van Drew said on Newsmax Saturday.
"[Putin] knows that no sanctions have been put in place, and we should have moved quickly on severe sanctions, and we should have moved quickly and never allowed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to flow, which makes Europe more dependent upon Russia," the New Jersey Republican said on Newsmax's "Saturday Agenda."
"We should have committed to actions in Afghanistan that made sense and created respect around the world."
Meanwhile, legislation from Democrats is concentrating more on climate change and mandating U.S. troops get their COVID-19 vaccines, rather than presenting a strong stance on Russia, said Van Drew.
"Right now, the Russians think we're a joke," said Van Drew.
"We would never be in this situation if they respected our force our power and [if] we were doing the right thing. So the best thing that we can do right now is to make sure that we have harsh, strong, powerful sanctions and that they're economic in nature. We should not put boots on the ground."
However, Congress is a "day late and a dollar short" and Putin knows it, said Van Drew.
"This is a smart man that's a KGB guy, so he knows what he's doing," said Van Drew, adding that he thinks Putin is ready to invade Ukraine at a time when "nobody wants to put boots on the ground."
But still, he added, the United States should "give every piece of armament" it can to help Ukraine defend itself.
"We should get all kinds of arms and all kinds of military ware over there so they can do what they need to do," he said, pointing out that after Putin spoke with Biden, he increased the troops on the other side of the Ukraine border even more, and "that's not a good sign."
The congressman also addressed the raid in Syria earlier this week that took out ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi but also resulted in the deaths of six children and four women.
"I respect the brave men and women that were there and did their job and did what they were told to do," said Van Drew. "These are American heroes, and they did nothing wrong. They just literally put their lives in harm's way, but whether this was executed properly, again, whether the timing was right, whether we could have avoided civilians and others getting hurt. That's never a good thing."
Van Drew added he would have rather seen a "much smoother, cleaner, purposeful operation" similar to what former President Donald Trump would have ordered.
"We seem with whatever we do right now with this president, this administration, is always have problems associated with everything," he concluded.
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