Rick Scott on putting US troops in Ukraine: ‘I don’t think you should ever take it off the table’

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) speaks during a Senate Republican Leadership News Conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March1, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said in an interview on “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” that will air on Sunday that putting U.S. troops in Ukraine shouldn’t be completely off the table.

“You should always keep all your options open … I don’t think you should ever take it off the table,” Scott said in response to a question on whether he’d ever support the U.S. sending troops to Ukraine. 

The Biden administration has said there are no plans to send American troops into Ukraine as the U.S. has deployed thousands of troops to Eastern Europe both in the lead-up to and following Russia’s invasion of its neighboring country.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week indicated that American troops could be involved if Russian troops moved into NATO countries.

“The president’s been very clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory. I think that’s the most powerful deterrent against President Putin going beyond Ukraine,” Blinken said. “We’re committed to defending our NATO allies; and if it comes to that, we’ll do it.”

In a statement Scott released on Saturday with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the Florida senator indicated he does not support deploying U.S. troops to Ukraine at the present time.

“We must join together with our NATO allies to commit all resources and equipment, excluding US troops, that the Ukrainian people need,” the senators wrote.

As Russia continues its aggression, fears of nuclear war have risen, with Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering that his country’s deterrence forces, including nuclear weapons, be put on high alert and threatening that countries that interfere with Russian actions will face “consequences you have never seen” in the days after he launched the invasion into Ukraine.

“I hope that Putin and the military leaders in Russia are not crazy enough to basically kill an unbelievable number of people as a result of a nuclear weapon … but I think what you have to look at, always take people for their word,” Scott said in the interview.

“If they’re threatening you, you better listen to them. And so I think we’ve got to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen. But appeasement isn’t an answer,” he added. 

Members of Congress met on Saturday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the call, the leader asked for more airplanes, the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine and a halt to oil purchases from Russia.

— Updated at 5:35 p.m.

Tags Antony Blinken Rick Scott Ron Johnson Russia-Ukraine conflict Sunday show Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelensky

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