Sen. Lankford to Newsmax: Ukraine Needs ‘Anything That Shoots’

Sen. Lankford to Newsmax: Ukraine Needs 'Anything That Shoots' James Lankford Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. (Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 04 April 2022 10:05 AM

The Biden administration is getting military aid to Ukraine slowly, but the Ukrainians must get the help they need because they're not only defending their nation but "all of Europe" from the threat being posed by Russia and President Vladimir Putin, Sen. James Lankford told Newsmax on Monday.

"I would say anything that shoots, they need to have right now," the Oklahoma Republican said on Newsmax' "Wake Up America." "They're defending all of Europe, from the Russians moving past Ukraine into Poland and continuing to be able to roll. Putin made it very, very clear at the very beginning that Ukraine was once part of Russia, and so was Poland."

However, Lankford said that the Senate, and specifically, the Biden administration, has been slow to send the aid Ukraine needs.

"The first set of aid got there fairly rapidly, and they seem to be dragging their feet on the rest of it and finding reasons why it can't get there rather than actually just getting it on the ground," said the senator.

Lankford also said he agrees with comments from Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Europe and Russia at the United States National Security Council, who told CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that it is important to get other countries beyond the United States to step up to help Ukraine.

However, he pointed out that there have been many non-NATO countries that have stepped up this time as opposed to during other times when there has been warfare between Ukraine and Russia.

"You compare it to 2014 when Russia's roles in the Donbas takeover, or Crimea, and the world seemed to yawn," said Lankford. "It's very different now, but people should remember that Ukraine and Russia have been in a hot shooting war since 2014. Every day since that time period, shooting and killing has been going on in Donbas. This is just a different level and the world has responded on a different level."

The senator also discussed the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, including a call in President Joe Biden's budget for $150 million to represent illegal immigrants in court proceedings.

Lankford noted that the budget also calls for a "dramatic cut" to funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which comes at a time when 2 million people crossed the border last year but a low number of people were deported.

"The Biden administration is playing both sides," he said. "The leadership in Central America is furious about what the administration is doing because the Biden administration is incentivizing their workers to leave central America to come to the United States to be able to work. It's killing their economy in Central America, and it also continues to be able to hurt ours."

He also questioned the administration's call to stop the Title 42 provision that allows some immigrants to be stopped at the border during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lankford said the decision to end the provision will depend on the Centers for Disease Control, Health and Human Services, and the office of the surgeon general.

"Title 42 was always intended to be temporary," said Lankford. "But the Biden administration is saying COVID-19 is over at the border, but they're firing members of the military that haven't got their vaccinations yet. They're telling all of us you have to wear a mask to be able to get on an airplane."

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