During a press briefing on Wednesday, Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki went directly after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for pushing the prospect of the U.S. withdrawing its support for Ukraine eventually joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — support which has been in place at least since the era of Republican President George W. Bush. Hawley justified his rhetoric by insisting that having to defend Ukraine because of obligations associated with its hypothetical membership in the alliance would supposedly further threaten the ability of the U.S. to respond to threats from China, but no matter his justification, the fact of the matter is that he’s playing into the wishes of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian authorities oppose Ukraine joining NATO.
We are not protecting our democracy if we let the Senators who enabled January 6 continue serving in the Senate as though it’s business as usual. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley need to resign or be expelled.
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 30, 2022
Psaki characterized Hawley as showing himself to be “not aligned with longstanding… American values,” commenting as follows:
‘If you are digesting Russian misinformation and parroting Russian talking points, you are not aligned with longstanding, bipartisan American values, which [are] to stand up for the sovereignty of countries like Ukraine, [and] others — their right to choose their own alliances, and also to stand against, very clearly, the efforts, or attempts, or potential attempts by any country to invade and take territory of another country. That applies to Sen. Hawley, but it also applies to others who may be parroting the talking points of Russian propagandist leaders.’
Watch Psaki’s comments below:
“If you are digesting Russian misinformation and parroting Russian talking points, you are not aligned with … American values.”
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki on Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) calling on Biden to drop support for Ukraine NATO membership pic.twitter.com/QUaQ6wvKZS
— The Recount (@therecount) February 2, 2022
Hawley responded to Psaki’s remarks with unsurprisingly self-important grandstanding, claiming that the Biden administration has “coddled Russia from Day One and now brought Europe to the brink of war – giving the Russians Nord Stream 2, refusing Ukraine military aid last year, and conducting a disastrous evacuation of Afghanistan that emboldened our enemies worldwide.”
Psaki responds to Hawley's letter, suggests Missouri Republican is "parroting" Russian talking points
— Bryan Lowry (@BryanLowry3) February 2, 2022
It is utterly mind-boggling for anyone who has ever even somewhat supported Trump — especially since his attacks on the last election — without since expressing remorse to act as though they can authoritatively speak about standing up to Russia. Trump pushed for Putin to be brought back into the G7 group of world leaders, from which he’d been pushed out specifically because of Russian aggression towards Ukraine. The Trump administration itself held up military aid to Ukraine amid the then-president’s attempts to get Ukrainian authorities to investigate the Bidens, and more recently, while serious tragedies marked the endeavor, the Biden administration was able to see through the evacuation of over 120,000 people from Afghanistan amid the U.S. military withdrawal from the country — clearly, that’s no small feat. In other words: Hawley is not accurately reflecting the entirety of the situation, but he sure does keep presenting his familiar arrogance anyway.
Adam Kinzinger calls Josh Hawley 'one of the worst human beings' and a 'con artist' after the senator urges Biden to block Ukraine from joining NATO https://t.co/DQOKvMfl5d
— Politics Insider (@PoliticsInsider) February 2, 2022
Nord Stream 2 is a Russian gas pipeline that’s been under development for some time and, if put into use, would transport gas from Russia to German consumers. Amid concerns like whether it would be appropriate to provide Russian authorities with leverage over European energy supplies, the Trump administration imposed sanctions in 2019 that were meant to stifle the project. Eventually, the Biden administration lifted those sanctions, although not without caveats. German authorities pledged that “[should] Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector, including gas.” Even now, considering the fact that the pipeline is not actually in operation, Hawley’s assertion that Biden “gave” it to the Russians is false.
"And what prompts this outburst?" @HawleyMO asked, seeing the tweet for the first time.
Informed that @AdamKinzinger seemed to be taking issue with Hawley's stance on Ukraine's NATO membership, he laughed.
"Weird," he said.https://t.co/38s8eJ2LUN
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) February 2, 2022