DeSantis Defends Trump’s Record on Russia, Rejects Putin Lackey Attacks
Republican Florida governor and 2024 Republican presidential nominee Ron DeSantis vehemently defended former President Donald Trump against allegations that he is serving the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, DeSantis dismissed the notion that Trump is a lackey for Putin as false.
Throughout his political career, Trump has faced accusations of being compromised by Putin or favoring Russian interests in his policies. Despite being rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, DeSantis stood up for Trump against these Russia allegations.
Fox News host Howard Kurtz raised the point that Putin had criticized the criminal indictments against Trump, suggesting that it might be an attempt to gain favor with the former president. Kurtz asked DeSantis if he was concerned that Trump, if reelected, would halt U.S. aid to Ukraine and allow Putin to keep the territory he has already captured.
“Vladimir Putin agrees with Donald Trump that he’s being persecuted by a rival for political reasons,” Kurtz said. “Don’t you worry that if Donald Trump gets back in the White House, he’ll stop U.S. aid to Ukraine and let Putin keep the territory he’s already captured?”
In response, DeSantis defended Trump’s strong record on Russia and Ukraine during his presidency.
“He had a very, very strong Russia policy. He actually provided a lot of support, defensive support, for Ukraine,” DeSantis said. “And so I think the idea that somehow he wants to be buddy-buddy with Putin—I know there’s circles that say that—but I don’t really see that as being the case. I think he’s been strong.”
President Trump has expressed his intention to pursue a different approach to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, suggesting that he would quickly seek peace and negotiate an end to the conflict within 24 hours of taking office. He has also threatened to increase U.S. support for Ukraine if Putin refuses peace negotiations.
DeSantis has indicated that he may deviate from the Biden administration’s policy of arming Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces. He believes that arming Ukraine is not a vital component of U.S. foreign policy and prefers a peaceful resolution to the conflict. During a recent Republican presidential debate, DeSantis argued that additional U.S. support to Ukraine should be contingent on European countries providing more assistance as well.
2024 Candidates Divided on Ukraine
Support for Ukraine has become a major point of contention among the 2024 presidential candidates, with many Republicans advocating for increased assistance to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, has warned that if Russian forces take Ukraine, it could lead to a conflict requiring the direct involvement of U.S. military personnel. He emphasized the importance of continued U.S. support for Ukraine in repelling Russian forces and preventing a wider conflict with NATO. Pence also believes that repelling Russian forces in Ukraine will deter China from attempting to assert control over Taiwan.
At the same Republican debate, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley expressed concerns that Russia could potentially target Poland or Baltic nations if it gains control of Ukraine.
Like Trump and DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy prefers a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. He opposes additional U.S. aid to Ukraine and argues that the U.S. stance toward Russia is pushing Putin closer to an alliance with China.
“We are driving Russia further into China’s hands,” Ramaswamy said. “The Russia-China alliance is the single greatest threat we face.”
Trump ‘Not the Best Way to Go Forward’: DeSantis
In addition to defending Trump’s record on Russia and Ukraine, DeSantis criticized the criminal indictments against the former president. He explained that his decision to challenge Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination was based on concerns about voter perception and the need to unite the country behind America First policies.
“I thought [President Trump] should have taken credit for the good things he did but recognize he was not the best way to go forward and win and unite the country behind our America First policies,” DeSantis told Fox News.
DeSantis expressed disappointment with the Republican Party’s performance in the 2022 midterms and warned that the ongoing legal proceedings against Trump could hinder Republicans’ ability to make the 2024 election a referendum on President Joe Biden’s performance.
Despite trailing Trump in the polls, DeSantis remains a strong contender for the Republican nomination.
NTD News reached out to the Trump campaign for a response to DeSantis’s remarks, but no response was received at the time of publication.From NTD News
How does DeSantis’s defense of Trump’s record on Russia reflect his stance on supporting Ukraine
Haley expressed her support for providing lethal aid to Ukraine and increasing pressure on Russia. She argued that failing to support Ukraine would only embolden Putin and weaken American credibility on the global stage.
On the other hand, DeSantis’s stance reflects a more cautious approach, focusing on the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. He emphasizes the importance of European countries stepping up their assistance to Ukraine, rather than relying solely on the United States. This approach aligns with the belief that the burden should be shared among allies and that diplomatic efforts should be prioritized.
The diverging opinions among the 2024 Republican presidential candidates regarding Ukraine highlight the complexity of the issue and the different approaches to foreign policy. While some argue for stronger military support and increased pressure on Russia, others prioritize diplomacy and peaceful negotiations.
DeSantis’s defense of Trump’s record on Russia serves as a reminder of the former president’s policies regarding Ukraine. Despite the accusations of being influenced by Putin, Trump maintained a strong stance against Russian aggression and
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