Mitch McConnell and other Republicans took a surprise trip to Ukraine this past weekend to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky. McConnell is among those Republicans who has broken with the Ultra MAGA wing of the party by maintaining support for Ukraine, despite Donald Trump’s defense and support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mitch McConnell did not, while he was Majority Leader and Donald Trump was President, urge Trump to place Russia on the state-sponsored terrorism list. He also didn’t support impeaching the former president over his efforts to extort Ukraine, hinting at withholding defense aid. BBC reports that the whistleblower described what he heard on the phonecall as sounding like an effort to “solicit interference from a foreign country.”
However, with President Joe Biden in office, McConnell is willing to stand up for Ukraine, and against Russia, and led a delegation of Republicans over the weekend to Ukraine to show support. Now he says that Biden should designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, during his trip to Finland, calls on President Biden to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism:
“The Russians certainly deserve to be included on that list.” pic.twitter.com/FedG2WJuJ6
— The Recount (@therecount) May 16, 2022
While supporting Ukraine and condemning the Russian invasion is an overall popular position, with Pew Research polling showing that about half of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike believe that Russia is a threat to the United States, there’s a significant contingent among the farthest-right that doesn’t agree with McConnell on this — and that contingent is the MAGA wing of the party.
It includes Madison Cawthorn, who has labeled the Ukrainian president a “thug” and called the country evil; Matt Gaetz who has said that the U.S. is “sleepwalking into a war” with Russia; and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who continues to complain that the U.S. is giving Ukraine aid at all.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com