- McConnell on Sunday said that pro-Russia Republicans are very much a minority within the party.
- “There’s some lonely voices out there that are in a different place,” he said on CBS News.
- The veteran Republican said that if Ukraine needs additional funding, the US should provide the aid.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday said that Republicans overwhelmingly support providing aid to Ukraine and described party members who back Russian President Vladimir Putin as “lonely voices” within the GOP.
During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the veteran Kentucky lawmaker expressed support for additional aid for Ukraine to fight back against Russian forces invading their country. He also stated that the US should rethink its approach to the conflict in light of the success that Ukrainians have had in fending off a full occupation of the country.
When McConnell was asked by host Margaret Brennan about Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, who was videotaped calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug,” and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who blasted Zelenskyy as “corrupt,” the GOP leader said that those opinions were very much in the minority among the larger party.
“Well, there’s some lonely voices out there that are in a different place,” he said. “But looking at Senate Republicans, I can tell you that I would have, had I been the majority leader, put this Ukraine supplemental up by itself. I think virtually every one of my members would have voted for it.”
He added: “The vast majority of the Republican Party writ large, both in the Congress and across the country, are totally behind the Ukrainians and urging the president to … take these steps quicker, to be bolder. So there may be a few only voices off the side. I wouldn’t pay much attention to them.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday rejected Cawthorn’s comments regarding Zelenskyy.
“Madison is wrong,” he said during a press briefing. “If there’s any thug in this world, it’s Putin.”
However, the California Republican remained committed to supporting Cawthorn’s reelection bid.
Greene last week recorded a video on Facebook where she rejected America’s involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“If we truly care about suffering and death on our television screens, we cannot fund more of it by sending money and weaponry to fight a war they cannot possibly win,” she said. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be responsible for creating even more refugees and orphans in an already traumatized and dysfunctional world.”
McConnell on Sunday said that Biden must make it clear during his European trip that the US believes Ukraine can emerge victorious against Russian forces.
“I think he needs to step up his game,” McConnell said of the president, who was his former colleague in Senate. “He has generally done the right thing but never soon enough.”
He added: “Ukrainians have killed more Russians in three weeks than we lost in Afghanistan and Iraq in 20 years. I think we ought to go into this believing the Ukrainians can actually win and the way to win is for us to get these defensive weapons systems to them as rapidly as possible.”
Congress earlier this month signed off on $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine.
McConnell said that if Ukraine needs additional funding, then the US should continue aiding the country.
“If they need more we ought to give them more,” he said.