Sen. Thune to Newsmax: Putin Preying on Biden’s Foreign Policy Weakness

Sen. Thune to Newsmax: Putin Preying on Biden's Foreign Policy Weakness (Newsmax/ "Spicer & Co.")

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 26 January 2022 09:29 AM

President Joe Biden has been on the "wrong side of every foreign policy decision" for years, even when he was in the Senate, so his actions on Russia and Ukraine are keeping up with that pattern and Russian President Vladimir Putin is reacting to his weakness, Senate Minority Whip John Thune tells Newsmax.

"National security is always something the American people care deeply about, particularly when there is a prospect of having to send young American men and women into harm's way," the South Dakota Republican told Newsmax's "Spicer & Co." Tuesday. "They are paying attention not only to the competence or incompetence, I should say, of this administration but also to a sort of foreign policy formula that projects weakness."

The Kremlin Wednesday announced new military exercises near the Ukraine border, while Biden is continuing to try to rally support to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin from staging an invasion into the neighboring country.

"Any time you project weakness, that's what tempts our adversaries and people like Putin to play on it," said Thune. "You can clearly see where he waited until President [Donald] Trump left office. When President Biden came to office, Putin started amassing troops on the Ukrainian border, and he's testing this administration."

There are many other hotspots around the world where American interests are at risk, and "the American people need to be concerned about an administration that doesn't have a very good grasp on what they want to accomplish in terms of our national security and foreign policy," Thune added.

Meanwhile, the White House has agreed to requests from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for bipartisan briefings on the Ukraine situation, and Thune said he thinks that is a sign that the congressional leaders are worried about what Biden has planned.

"This is an attempt provided to give cover, to give the administration hopefully a chance to sell members of Congress on this, but at least to say that well, we gave Republicans a chance to hear about what the administration intends to do," said Thune. "But more than anything else right now, I think what the American people are seeing this feckless foreign policy, starting with the disaster in Afghanistan."

Meanwhile, the Democrats' policies since Biden took office have favored Russian energy over sources from the United States, by denying the Keystone XL pipeline while allowing Russian efforts to proceed, said Thune.

"They are so obsessed with the idea of electric vehicles, that's the total sum of their energy policy right now, to the detriment of millions of Americans who are having to pay more at the pump because they killed good energy projects in America," said Thune.

He pointed out that the United States was energy independent under Trump but now, "we're going back to Saudi Arabia, hat in hand, asking OPEC 'would you please increase production?'" said Thune. "That's driving inflation because energy is involved in transportation and food prices. When you see these types of energy costs, not just in the area of fuel but natural gas, all these things are going up, and it's making everything more expensive for American citizens, and it doesn't have to be this way. America can be energy-independent. We were energy-independent. Until these guys came to power and decided to kill all these very worthwhile energy projects and the jobs that go with them."

Thune also said the Democrats' record on the economy is poor and inflation issues are "self-inflicted."

"Look at what they did with the $2 trillion spending bill in March," he said. "The textbook definition of inflation is too many dollars, chasing too few goods. They flooded the zone with more federal spending. They want to do another $5 trillion in spending. They want to raise taxes, all of which gets passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices."

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