Senate

McConnell: ‘Ratchet the sanctions all the way up’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that President Biden should increase sanctions against Russia “all the way up” after Moscow began a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.

“Ratchet the sanctions all the way up. Don’t hold any back,” McConnell said while taking questions after roundtable briefings on the opioid and substance abuse epidemic.

“Every single available tough sanction should be employed and should be employed now,” he added.

McConnell’s remarks come after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation in Ukraine early in the morning on Thursday.

Earlier this week, former President Trump praised Putin’s tactics as “genius” and added that the Russian president’s description of the invading troops as “peacekeepers” was both “smart” and “savvy.” 

When asked about the former president’s remarks, McConnell sidestepped.

“Look, I just told you how I feel about the Russians. Vladimir Putin is a bad guy. He’s an authoritarian. He yearns for an empire, and we need to do everything we can to stop it,” McConnell responded.

When pressed once more on what he thought of the former president’s comments, McConnell sought to take more questions from other reporters.

Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster broke from Trump on Thursday and said Putin was not worthy of praise.

“He is certainly not someone to be praised, and I think what we ought to be encouraged by is the reaction across the free world. Really what Putin wants more than anything is disunity, because disunity will lead to an ineffective response,” McMaster said on CNN.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden military assault Mitch McConnell Moscow Russia sanctions Senate Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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