- Former Rep. Liz Cheney said Gov. Ron DeSantis was “wrong” for his comments on Ukraine.
- The governor told Tucker Carlson in a statement that the war should not be a priority for the US.
- “This is not ‘a territorial dispute,'” Cheney said in a statement to The New York Times.
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Former Rep. Liz Cheney rebuked Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement Tuesday, saying the Governor was “wrong” for his comments on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
DeSantis provided a comment to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday stating that the war was not one of the “vital national interests” of the US and referred to it as a “territorial dispute,” closely mirroring the views of former President Donald Trump. DeSantis had previously side-stepped questions about his stance on Ukraine.
“This is not ‘a territorial dispute,'” Cheney’s statement said in a statement provided to The New York Times. “The Ukrainian people are fighting for their freedom. Surrendering to Putin and refusing to defend freedom makes America less safe.”
Cheney, who now works as a professor at the University of Virginia, has been an outspoken critic of GOP members who support an end to US aid to Ukraine.
While in office, Cheney said that Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin would help the country’s “enemies.” Cheney also said that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene stands “against freedom” for trying to axe aid to Ukraine, and she has called Republicans who have spoken out in favor of Russia’s invasion the “Putin wing of the GOP.”
Cheney has also said that Ukraine should not cede any territory to Russia in peace negotiations.
“Weakness is provocative and American officials who advocate this type of weakness are Putin’s greatest weapon. Abandoning Ukraine would make broader conflict, including with China and other American adversaries, more likely,” Cheney said in the statement to the Times.
Following DeSantis’ comments, multiple other Republicans voiced disapproval or questioned his stance. Sen. Marco Rubio told Politico that he was unsure of DeSantis’ goal in making his statement, but said that the topic deserved “nuance.”
GOP Sen. Thom Tillis told Politico that he did not agree with DeSantis, calling the war a “humanitarian crisis,” while GOP Sen. John Cornyn told the outlet that he was “disturbed” by the comments.
“I want to find out more about it, but I hope he feels like he doesn’t need to take that Tucker Carlson line to be competitive in the primary,” Cornyn told Politico. “It’s important for us to continue to support Ukrainians for our own security.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke out against those who “believe” that the Russian invasion is not a priority for the US, although he did not name DeSantis.
—Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 14, 2023
A representative for Cheney did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. A representative with DeSantis’ office and a spokesperson with the governor’s political team did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.